On Wednesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – In the second hour of the show, Leahy sat down with Thomas M. Hodgson who is an American law enforcement agent and politician who has served as Sheriff of Bristol County, Massachusetts since 1997.
During the third segment, Hodgson described the current immigration situations his county is facing and what that looks like for any other city that joins the sanctuary ranks. In a call to action, he called on people from all sides of the political spectrum to come together and fix the immigration system before it’s too late.
Leahy: We are joined now by Sheriff Thomas Hodgson of Bristol County Massachusetts. Welcome, Sheriff.
Hodgson: Good morning thanks for having me.
Leahy: It is a delight to talk with you. I lived in Massachusetts way back and live in Nashville now and went to college in the Boston area. You’re Bristol County. About a half a million people just across the border from Providence is that correct?
Leahy: So tell us about the immigration issues that you’re having there. Is it largely a suburban county?
Hodgson: We’ve got 16 towns and four cities. So the cities are obviously more populated. With the suburban neighborhoods and the 16 towns. We have a couple that are sort of rural but not overly rural. The thing I think that’s important to point out for your listeners first though is most people aren’t aware of this but Pew Research Center just came out with a report out two weeks ago and what they determined is that Massachusetts has the highest migration of illegal immigrants than any other state in the US.
Hodgson: Yes. Between 2007 and 2017. And we are the second most common place to find fentanyl in the United States. We’re 2500 miles from the border. So when people say this isn’t a crisis and this is all made up by President Trump, it’s a lie. I’ve been working on immigration reform for 21 years.
I’ve been the Sheriff for 22 years. And I have watched Congress every year turn a blind eye and a deaf ear and use the immigration issues as a political football while more and more people are dying. More drugs are pouring into our communities. Gangs are increasing particularly in the Northeast.
I was just on the border and the chief said, “Sheriff, you do know that MS-13, the word is on the border down here is go up to Massachusetts and that whole north region to take over the Northeast.” And they are. New Hampshire. The US attorney prosecuted a big case in Massachusetts in Lawrence.
They call it the devil’s highway because so many people are being impacted now in New Hampshire by these cartels. And you can look at the map where it shows the cartels using the sanctuary cities and that’s the problem with Massachusetts. They’ve been a welcoming, engaging state from Boston, the Mayor of Boston who frankly I think anyone of these, Mayor Cutatone in Cambridge. They are constantly promoting sanctuary cities saying that if the federal government cuts some of our money the Mayor of Boston said I’ll house them at city hall.
I was testifying before Congress and asked by Congress, ok so what should happen in these instances? I said, arrest every single elected official that violates title 8, section 1524 that says, anyone that attempts to harbor or conceal someone they know to be in the country illegally commits a felony under the federal law. And they need to be arrested because you or I would be arrested.
Leahy: So that’s very interesting. New information that you’ve given us today. First, there appears to be a correlation between illegal alien population and fentanyl abuse. Number two, sanctuary cities around the country are part of the corridor of crime leading directly from the border to any part of the United States. It’s almost like an underground railroad in reverse right?
Hodgson: Well yeah. And that’s a great point. Now think about this. How long has law enforcement been working on neighborhood watch across this country? Decades, right? Telling people in our neighborhoods get involved. Be our eyes and ears in the community.
Let us know if people are illegally in the community doing illegal acts what have you. Now we have seen people like Mayor of Boston, Mayor of Summerville. The attorney general in California Becerra who said any business owner who attempts to identify someone or cooperate with ICE is going to be arrested because we’re a sanctuary state and I will prosecute you.
So basically what they’re doing now is saying look, you law-abiding people that have been working in neighborhood watch, looking out for your neighbor, working with the police. You need to go into the shadows and be quite.
And you need to let the people who are hiding in the shadows, who have absolutely no right to be here in violation knowingly of our laws to come out of those shadows in a protective bubble and wander around your neighborhood. And you need to leave them alone.
Leahy: You said something interesting and for us in Nashville. And you’re focused on your county in Bristol county just north of Providence Rhode Island and southwest of Boston. And not too far, how far are you from Boston?
Hodgson: About 45 minutes.
Leahy: Ok, not far at all. Your right on that path of the corridor of crime that the sanctuary cities and they’re headed toward Boston basically.
Leahy: This has been a big issue in Nashville as well and every urban area. You may not familiar with this but our listeners are. The issue of a sanctuary city has been a very very hot issue in the state of Tennesse. The state actually passed a law last year that said that every count, every locality must comply with ICE detainers that have been issued.
But the outgoing Mayor of Nashville signed an executive order and said oh no we’re not going to comply with ICE detainers. I kid you not. For the audience, the look of incredulity on Sheriff Hodgson’s face is incredible right now.
Hodgson: How does any elected official, who took the same oath that the Sheriff’s took across this nation to uphold the law and the constitution, how does any one of them say to the people that they were elected to protect. Look I know you could be safer if I enforce these laws but I want you to be less safe than you otherwise should be.
Leahy: This is common sense.
Hodgson: Yes. They don’t belong in government. And not only that, when you think about how the whole rule of law is being undermined by people who took an oath. It is absolutely outrageous. So we are at a point in our country right now where Congress is broken.
They’ve turned the legislative branch of the federal government into their political playground. For 20 years they’ve done nothing on this issue. And so we’ve now arrived at a point, us, at our generation and those coming up where we have to decide are we going to pass a country along that’s going to better for our children and our grandchildren.
And what will be said of when they say, hey my father or grandfather stood down when they knew that the government was broken and more and more people were going to die and I was going to get exposed to drugs and all of this but they did nothing. What will be said of us? It’s our time in history, all of us to come together. Law enforcement, Democrats, Independents, Republicans, and we’re American’s first. It’s time.
Leahy: So the political issue here ist his. And I don’t know if your county was probably marginally for Hillary Clinton I would guess in 2016. But Boston would have been like 85% for Hillary Clinton. Now in Nashville. In the state of Tennessee, the state of Tennessee went to President Trump by 25 points.
But there are two islands of blue in the sea of red of Tennessee. Memphis and Nashville. And Nashville went about 25 points for Hillary Clinton. And it’s getting more liberal by the day. We just had a mayoral runoff election. The mayor that’s far left and had that executive order that said basically don’t comply with the state law on this was defeated 70/30.
But he’s been replaced by a guy named John Cooper brother of Congressman Jim Cooper who said he’s an effective progressive. That’s his plan. But has not said he would rescind that executive order. Now we’ve been pressing him hard on that but he hasn’t responded. We’re a little concerned he wants to turn Nashville into Boston in the area of immigration. What are the downsides of having a Boston type immigration control policy?
Hodgson: Well they’re huge first of all. Identity fraud. Human trafficking. Those things. People find that some location in the United States is a sanctuary. The word gets right back across the border.
Leahy: Everybody knows where the sanctuaries are.
Hodgson: They all know on the other side of the border. They know within 24 hours and that’s where they’re going to migrate. And it isn’t just with the community with the sanctuary that needs to be concerned.Some of these criminals and criminal operations of human trafficking.
Human trafficking in the United States is out of control. Sex trafficking. Every day there’s a child missing if you look at social media. Every day. Human trafficking business is almost as lucrative as the drug business now. You’re going to see more of that. You’re going to see more crime.
And people in your communities are going to start picking up the tab because there’s going to be so much fraud around welfare and all of these other things. The drug issues are going to be much greater. That’s what’s going on in these sanctuaries. So I encourage everyone. Let’s get back to the basics. We are a country of laws.
We’re the most generous country in the world when it comes to immigration. We bring in a million or so a year legally. And those who knowingly come in that wouldn’t qualify for asylum illegally and start demanding to get drivers licenses as they’re trying to do in our state and other states. We’re heading for a serious problem when you start giving drivers licenses.
Listen to the full second hour:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 am to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Sheriff Tom Hodgson” by Sheriff Tom Hodgson.