President Donald Trump met with representatives of the National Sheriffs’ Association Tuesday, who presented the commander-in-chief with a letter of thanks for his recent “law and order” executive actions designed to halt illegal immigration.
“State and local law enforcement have, in recent years, shouldered much of the burden associated with criminal illegal immigration and the subsequent impact on our communities,” the letter said, which was signed by both the president and the association’s executive director, according to LawOfficer.com. “As you have recognized, our borders are not secure and we applaud your efforts to address this threat to our public safety.”
Afterwards Trump and the sheriffs engaged in a “listening session” in the Roosevelt Room, where they were joined by Vice President Mike Pence and senior White House advisers Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus and Stephen Miller.
The president tweeted:
An honor having the @NationalSheriff Association join me at the @WhiteHouse. Incredible men & women who protect & serve 24/7/365. THANK YOU! pic.twitter.com/LxNZK39HE0
— President Trump (@POTUS) February 7, 2017
The president pledged to work with local law enforcement to help curb crime — a far cry from what the previous administration did.
As an example, Jefferson County, Kentucky Sheriff John Aubrey observed that asset forfeiture by local law enforcement had helped them fight crime until it was “curtailed” by the previous administration. The president replied that “I think Congress is going to get beat up really badly by the voters because they’ve let this happen. And I think badly. I think you’ll be back in shape. So, asset forfeiture, we’re going to go back on, okay?”
When a Texas sheriff remarked that a state senator was pushing back on asset forfeiture, Trump quipped that he may have to destroy the politician’s career — a joke that some news outlets and social media took way too seriously.
The association’s CEO Jonathan Thompson remarked that he’d begged former President Obama for federal assistance with no result.
“Let me tell you the difference of six months. I sat in this room, in this chair, and I was pleading, I was begging for help,” he said.
“Today, you’ve invited us here to your home,” he added. “You’re offering help. You’re delivering on that offer. And on behalf of our members across the country, thank you.”
The compliment was returned.
“You have no idea how respected you are,” Trump told the law enforcement officers, adding that media outlets seldom give them the credit they deserve.
The president observed that the flow of illegal drugs often leads to other crimes, and he promised federal help in that area and repeated his commitment to shutting down the southern border.
“We’re not going to have the drugs pour in from the border like they have,” he said.
Watch the full meeting below.
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