Tarrant County, Tx., Sheriff Bill Waybourn told a White House press briefing that if law enforcement were forced to release undocumented immigrants with criminal convictions from jails, it would put the public at risk, reports the Texas Tribune. Waybourn said about 7 percent of the 4,200 inmates in his jail are undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes including murder, sexual assault of a child and driving while intoxicated, and 72 percent are repeat offenders.
“If we have to turn them loose or they get released, they’re coming back to your neighborhood and my neighborhood,” he said. “These drunks will run over your children and they will run over my children.” Waybourn said he knows many undocumented immigrants cross Texas’ southern border looking for “a better day and something better for their family,” but “the problem is, the very people they were fleeing, who preyed upon them, came with them. That’s who we’re trying to initially eliminate out of our country.” The sheriff defended Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, comparing public criticism of ICE to how soldiers returning from Vietnam were treated. Waybourn spoke at a briefing on border security with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matt Albence.