BRISTOL COUNTY, Mass. – A Massachusetts sheriff wants to help President-elect Donald Trump build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border—by offering up inmates to work on the project, reported Fox News.
Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson has been a long-time proponent of strict immigration enforcement. He presented his idea at an inauguration speech on Wednesday as he begins his fourth six-year term in office.
Sheriff Hodgson has not heard from Trump himself, but the idea is being reviewed by administrative staff.
“They have it, I believe it’s going over to their domestic policy advisers,” Hodgson said. “We will have to wait to see if it’s something the president-elect is interested in.”
Advocates of lenient immigration policies quickly denounced the sheriff’s proposal, according to the Fox affiliate in Boston. The ACLU of Massachusetts is threatening to go all out to block the sheriff’s plans, Fox25Boston.com reports.
Carol Rose, the executive director of the state’s chapter, said in a statement: “Sheriff Hodgson’s proposal to use the labor of the men and women in his custody to ‘build the wall’ is perverse, inhumane and likely unconstitutional.”
“Not only is Sheriff Hodgson willing to get involved with Trump’s racially discriminatory plan to build a wall along the US-Mexico border, he is proposing to use modern-day slave labor to do it,” Rose said in the statement, according to Fox25Boston.com
From the outset of his campaign, Trump made immigration a focus, vowing to build a wall along the Mexican border, and to make Mexico pay for it. Mexican officials have different ideas and have said they will not fund the wall.
According to the Boston Herald, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker expressed his preference that inmates provide services “closer to home.”
Hodgson says other sheriffs would like to send inmates to help construct a wall, the Herald reported.
“This is what government ought to be doing,” the Herald quoted him as saying. “It ought to be using whatever resources as creatively as we can to save taxpayer money and make sure our taxpayers are safe, which is another responsibility.”
“These inmates, they’re skilled, they want to be able to do these things,” he said. “They get it, they don’t want to be where they are, they made mistakes, but they feel good about themselves when someone does something that’s challenging, that gives them more skills that sets them up to succeed.”