Somerville mayor, Bristol County sheriff square off in heated immigration debate

DARTMOUTH, MA (WHDH) - Two local, outspoken officials squared off in a heated debate Thursday on immigration.

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone attended a panel on immigration at UMass Dartmouth.

Hodgson said Curtatone should be arrested for how Somerville handles immigration issues. Curtatone responded by calling Hodgson a “jack-booted thug.”

Both men stuck to their guns during Thursday’s debate.

“Do we want to have every tool available to us in law enforcement to provide the best possible defense in our communities to keep them safe – or not? That’s the bottom line in this issue,” Hodgson said.

“The good thing about this panel is you had a passionate debate,” Curtatone said. “It was civilized, it was honest in people’s beliefs, but this is an important question before the country: that is, what kind of country are we going to be?”

The mayor said, Somerville has been a sanctuary city since 1897 and has no plans of that changing.

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