Sheriff Witnesses Immigration Crisis at Texas-Mexico Border

- FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. - One local sheriff was chosen by the National Sheriff's Association to go to Texas with six other sheriffs from across the country for a first-hand look at the immigration crisis at the border. 

Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins has been active in trying to crack down on illegal immigrants in the local area and the sheriff recently returned from a trip to the Texas-Mexico border. He said he’s a witness to the magnitude of the immigration crisis.

“Our borders are wide open, it's frightening,” said Sheriff Chuck Jenkins of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

Jenkins said the number of illegal immigrants coming to America presents a security, public safety and even public health issue.

What children are going through to get into America, he said isn’t fair.

“My heart bleeds for those kids, it's really sad but what they're going through to get here is even worse. The traffickers, the people who exploit the children, take advantage,” said Jenkins.

Jenkins commends Governor Rick Perry’s decision to deploy 1,000 National Guard troops, but said more needs to be done. He said he’ll work with the six other sheriffs’ that took trip with him to help make recommendations.

“Nothing short of a military deployment is going to help the problem,” said Jenkins. “What's happening on our borders will impact our communities at some point, maybe not today or tomorrow but we will see an impact. Part will be the criminal element that is coming across the border.”

Jenkins said while border patrol and other resources are busy with children and family units, the “bad guys” will slip through, bringing drugs and possibly gang violence to communities across the country.

Sheriff Jenkins said the National Sheriff’s Association will make a recommendation to lawmakers. However, there’s no timeline when that may happen. Jenkins said he’s now back to his routine responsibilities at his office, and while he received a lot of criticism for taking the trip, he stands by his decision.

The trip was funded by a D.C. based group called Federation for American Immigration reform.

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