Sheriff defends his comments calling for arrests of elected officials of sanctuary cities

WASHINGTON (WHDH) - Just after he testified before a house panel in Washington, 7’s Sharman Sacchetti asked Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson about his call to arrest elected officials of “sanctuary cities.”

“This idea of sort of negotiating whether or not we’re going to follow the law is ridiculous. And it’s un-American,” Hodgson said.

Related: Bristol County Sheriff calls for arrests of elected leaders of sanctuary cities

The sheriff also told Sacchetti that public officials should not be treated as special groups.

“If you violate the law, you’re subject to having yourself arrested.  That’s got to be the case,” Hodgson said.

Hodgson made the controversial comment Tuesday while testifying before members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

“If these sanctuary cities are going to harbor and conceal criminal illegal aliens from ICE, which is in direct violation of title 8 of the U.S. code, federal arrest warrants should be issued for their elected officials,” Hodgson said.

He added that “sanctuary cities will start to fade if their leaders start running into legal trouble.”

Somerville is a sanctuary city. In a statement issued to 7News, Mayor Joe Curtatone said the following:

“Rather than worrying about locking up mayors and parroting the same falsehoods about sanctuary cities that are coming out of the White House, maybe Sheriff Hodgson should come to Somerville to learn about real crime prevention. Crime is way down in my sanctuary city. We will not be bullied into villainizing our immigrant community.”

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh also weighed in on the issue, saying Hodgson is playing on the fear of people.

“He’s elected to be sheriff, which is to work on the folks that he has in his facilities. In some cases, I wish he’d focus more on rehabilitation,” Walsh said.

Hodgson says there’s no bigger threat to national security than illegal immigration. He’s calling those who ignore immigration laws, “careless, illegal, and extremely dangerous.”

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