Bristol County Sheriff, sanctuary city Mayor speak at immigration panel

DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — The Bristol County Sheriff who attracted national attention for his proposal to President Trump sat side by side with opposing opinions on Thursday.

A panel discussion on immigration was held at UMass Dartmouth. Panelists included Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, Somerville Mayor Joseph Curatone, Newton Councilwoman Emily Norton and Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition Federal Policy Director Sarand Sekhavat.

Former Congressman Barney Frank also attended the event as a keynote speaker.

Back in January, Hodgson offered to send inmates from Bristol County to the U.S., Mexico border as volunteers to build Trump’s wall. 

He later testified to Congress on immigration, calling sanctuary cities a danger. He also stated that mayors who promote such cities are breaking the law and should be arrested.  

Fellow panelist, Curatone, is one lawmaker that Hodgson could have been referring to.

Much like in Providence, Somerville’s mayor has named the city to be a sanctuary city and not use police as acting ICE officers.

“It’s not really about two representations, it’s about philosophical views of elected officials, who have other motivations around why they want this done,” said Hodgson. “I am not saying in their own hearts, pure or not, but the bottom line is we’re a country of laws, and those laws are the fundamental responsibility of government.”

Curatone countered Hodgson saying he took an oath to protect all residents, including undocumented immigrants.