Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson. (Bristol County Sheriff's Office)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson has been an avid supporter of President Donald Trump's proposed Mexican border wall for some time--even proposing a controversial plan last year which would see Massachusetts prisoners sent to help build that wall.
On Tuesday, President Trump called for members of the military to guard the border until a wall can be built--and Hodgson is leading a push for Congress to act.
"The President's doing exactly what he, unfortunately, has to do, because there are no other options," Hodgson told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker. "Congress has continued to stonewall on this issue for 20 years, they've done nothing about it. Law enforcement, sheriffs have been asking for border security, we've been going to town testifying, trying to get bills passed to deal with it--and Congress just continues to stonewall."
He was particularly troubled over a group of 1,500 Honduran asylum-seekers currently heading toward the southern border--a group President Trump has been focused on over the last week.
"We don't know who's coming through, particularly this group of 1,500," he said. "You could have people that have melded into that group who are people who want to commit terrorist acts against this country, or, you know, MS-13 members, cartel members. This is a serious problem, and the people of this country have a right to be protected."
Hodgson is one of 380 sheriffs from across the country who signed a letter sent to every member of Congress demanding they address border security issues and crack down on "sanctuary" policies in states, cities, and towns. The National Sheriffs' Association's letter can be found here.
"We told them we're tired of standing by while they marginalize our ability to keep people safe, and the sheriffs across the country are now mobilizing," he said.
But if Congress won't help fund the wall, Hodgson said, there could be a crowd-funding effort to do so.
"We're going to be working with the citizens of this country and doing everything we can," he said. "If Congress isn't going to do it, we're going to start moving forward on something similar to a GoFundMe page from the National Sheriffs, and we're going to start watching a wave going across this country in a way they've never seen before."
He praised the Border Patrol, and said Trump's call for military at the border wouldn't be to replace them, but to bolster them.
"It's more about force multiplying, having more eyes, more ears, and giving Border Patrol more flexibility to get to places they need to get to, where before they may have been restricted by manpower limitations," he said.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker reports