In response to Sheriff Hodgson’s letter to the editor of Feb. 1, "Where’s the sanctuary city for our citizens and legal residents?" I must disagree with Sheriff Hodgson’s statements and tactics. Once again, Sheriff Hodgson has stuck to his sweeping generalizations when it come to talk of immigrants, sanctuary cities and safety. It is always that undocumented immigrants are rapists, gang members, the worst possible kind of criminal, dangerous and that citizens need to be protected from them. And that sanctuary cities by their very nature harbor those "criminal illegal aliens" as he refers to undocumented immigrants. Where is the data to back up these sweeping generalizations?

President Trump in his State of the Union address used crimes committed by the violent MS-13 gang as a way to stereotype all immigrants. He and Sheriff Hodgson sing from the same song book. Both try to scare us Americans and make us believe all immigrants are criminals and that we citizens need to be protected from them either by deportation, jail time or by building walls. Their answer is to frighten and then pose as tough guys here to protect us.

But this flies in the face of what we all know is a more complicated truth. That ever since the Pilgrims landed, this country has been built by people fleeing their countries, (I don’t think the Pilgrims had papers, or at least the Native Americans didn’t ask for them), searching for and then building the American Dream. We certainly know this in New Bedford and Fall River. Frederick Douglass knew this. Sanctuary cities know this. The Statue of Liberty proclaims it. It is what has always made America great.

The issues around immigration are complicated and they require honest debate and compromise among our elected leaders. That purpose is not served by poseur tough guys like Sheriff Hodgson and President Trump. Making us scared and therefore needing of protection from the likes of our president and our Bristol County sheriff cannot and will not work.

Laurie Bullard