An open letter signed by Cobb Sheriff Neil Warren endorsing President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall was not written by the sheriff himself, but rather was a form letter copied onto county letterhead as part of an organized lobbying campaign, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.
The White House provided a copy of the letter signed by Warren to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution earlier this week as evidence of law enforcement support for a wall on the Mexican border.
It decried the “carnage, trauma, and suffering” caused by illegal immigration and cited several high-profile crimes allegedly committed in other states by people who are in the country illegally. Notably, it did not include specific examples from Cobb County or Sheriff Warren’s own career.
The AJC subsequently obtained emails from the Sheriff’s Office showing that the letter was sent to sheriffs across the country by Sheriff Thomas Hodgson of Bristol County, Mass., who sought to enlist their support for the wall.
Hodgson’s chief of staff emailed a version of the letter to an unknown number of sheriffs on Jan. 3.
“You can copy and paste onto your letterhead, sign and then forward back,” she wrote. “All of your email responses and letters will be sent to the White House as soon as they are received.”
In Cobb, the request was handled by Warren and his spokesman, Commander Robert Quigley.
The Bristol County Sheriff’s Office was not able to say by press time how many responses it had received and forwarded to the White House.
Sheriff Hodgson “works with other Sheriffs across the country on a range of public safety issues, including illegal immigration,” a spokesperson wrote in an email. “Lobbying to increase border security is a public safety issue that absolutely falls into the realm of Sheriff.”