Sheriffs meet in Hamilton to talk immigration reform

Five county sheriffs wanted to send a strong message to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday not to back pedal on an immigration reform bill they say is the best one for securing America’s borders.

The National Sheriff’s Association supports House Resolution 2278, dubbed “The SAFE Act,” which expands the role of state and local law enforcement agencies in immigration enforcement. It is one of several current bills on immigration reform, including Senate Bill 744, a bipartisan bill passed in June that includes a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country, in addition to provisions to secure the borders.

Boehner has previously said immigration reform isn’t a top priority.

On Wednesday, four Ohio county sheriffs and one from North Carolina wanted to let the speaker know that it should be.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones hosted a roundtable in Hamilton — Boehner’s home district — attended by Darke County Sheriff Toby Spencer, Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Gray and Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson, all from Boehner’s 8th Congressional District. Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer and Rockingham County, N.C., Sheriff Sam Page, co-vice chairman of the National Sheriff’s Association Border Security and Immigration Committee, were also in attendance.

For 60 minutes the sheriffs were joined by a representative from Boehner’s office to discuss their concerns.

In a letter written Aug. 1 in response to Jones’ invitation to attend the roundtable, Boehner wrote, “I stand with you and other law enforcement officials from our region in support of H.R. 2278 and in unequivocal opposition to the massive, Obamacare-style immigration legislation backed by President Barack Obama and passed recently by the United States Senate.”

He added, “From the many conversations I’ve had with constituents at home in Butler County and throughout the Eighth Congressional District, it’s clear to me that the people of our region, like millions of other Americans nationwide, prefer that our nation’s broken immigration system be fixed through a step-by-step, common-sense approach that starts with securing our borders and enforcing our laws.”

Jones said Boehner’s letter is “a response we have not heard before.”

North Carolina is no different from other states throughout the country where drug and human trafficking is driven by illegal immigration, Page said.

“If we fail to secure our borders in America, every sheriff in American will become a border sheriff,” Page said.

At a June rally for immigration reform outside U.S. Rep. John Boehner’s Springfield office, Shahrzad P. Allen, an immigration attorney from Dayton, framed the argument for immigration reform as a way to reduce the nation’s deficit.

Allen said that allowing 11 million illegal immigrants to “come out of the shadows” would create citizens who pay taxes and learn English “just like the rest of us.”

Jose Sanchez, a pastor originally from Nicaragua who leads a Hispanic congregation in Springfield, said it’s “time to stop the division.”

“We are here for work, not for anything else,” Sanchez said during the June rally. “We’re here to support our families.”

Staff Writer Andrew McGinn contributed to this report.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

For sale: ‘Scariest’ lodging in America, iconic Clown Motel
For sale: ‘Scariest’ lodging in America, iconic Clown Motel

The lobby is stuffed with clowns of all sorts. Like a scene from a circus, they are seemingly everywhere, even above the beds in each clown-themed room. After all, it is “The Clown Motel.” The iconic, albeit frightening to coulrophobes, lodging is up for sale, after 22 years owning it, Bob Perchetti is ready to sing a sad clown song and...
Bielski brother partisan celebrates 90th birthday
Bielski brother partisan celebrates 90th birthday

In his early years, Aron Bell of Palm Beach helped his brothers save more than 1,200 Jews escaping Nazis during World War II. Now, he gathers with friends and family to celebrate his 90th birthday. The story of the Bielski brothers has been translated into books, documentaries and a Hollywood film, “Defiance.” For three years, Aron...
Fisherman hooks great white from California pier
Fisherman hooks great white from California pier

A fisherman in California did not need a bigger rod and reel when he hooked a nearly 12-foot great white shark from a pier Sunday. Once he identified it as a white shark, which is protected, the fisherman cut it loose, according to KEYT. Video showed spectators and other fishermen congregate as the shark thrashed nearby, according to KEYT...
Bush’s recalls beans over defective cans
Bush’s recalls beans over defective cans

Bush Brothers and Company is voluntarily recalling certain varieties of beans because of defective cans that can leak or allow harmful bacteria to grow. Bush’s Brown Sugar Hickory Baked Beans, Country Style Baked Beans and Original Baked Beans in 28-ounce cans were recalled after an internal quality control check uncovered the issue. “We...
Chained dog dies trying to reach shade
Chained dog dies trying to reach shade

A 23-year-old South Carolina man has been arrested on animal cruelty charges after a chained dog wearing a belt as a collar choked to death trying to crawl to shade in his yard. Keon Torrence Gladden, of Great Falls, has been charged with one count of ill treatment of animals. A concerned neighbor called police to Gladden’s Walnut Street home...
More Stories