On Wednesday at the State House in Boston, Sheriff Hodgson testified against two proposed bills that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain official Massachusetts driver’s licenses.
His testimony is as follows:
Roberto Villegas and Eric Matos had, between the two of them, nine Massachusetts driver’s licenses and more than 15 different identities when they were arrested on drug charges.
Wilson Soto had at least four different identities when he was arrested in Tewksbury.
Fentanyl-trafficking suspect Jose Vittini-Arias was able to obtain a REAL-ID compliant license under the stolen identity of Jonathan Almando Roman Vazquez.
All of these individuals used stolen identities to remain in the United States and evade law enforcement in their criminal enterprises.
And let me be perfectly clear on this next point: Passing these bills will make it even easier for criminal illegal aliens to evade law enforcement and victimize law-abiding U.S. citizens and Massachusetts residents.
Making illegal immigrants eligible for official Massachusetts driver’s licenses is not only wrong. but reckless. It will have a negative effect on the public safety of the people of the Commonwealth.
Good morning everyone. I’m Thomas Hodgson and I’ve been the elected Sheriff of Bristol County for more than 20 years. Prior to that, I headed the internal affairs unit in Bristol County, and was a police officer and lieutenant in Ocean City, Maryland.
I’ve arrested drug dealers. I’ve investigated homicides. I’ve established multi-agency task forces. I’ve discussed public safety challenges with town police chiefs, city police commissioners, county Sheriffs from coast to coast, and federal officials at the highest levels of national government in Washington.
I’ve been in law enforcement for more than 30 years, and I can safely say, without a doubt, that crime will rise, more innocent people will be victimized and more identities will be stolen if illegal immigrants have access to official driver’s licenses.
These illegal immigrants have already chosen to disrespect and disobey our laws by coming to and remaining in the United States unlawfully. Why are we rewarding law-breakers?
I’ve been working on immigration reforms for more than 20 years and am as frustrated as anyone that Congress has failed to secure the border and pass a meaningful and much-needed immigration package. Congress’ failure has allowed drugs to pour into our neighborhoods, transnational gangs to grow stronger, human and sex traffickers to victimize children and young women, and sadly, the loss of American lives at the hands of criminal illegal immigrants here in Massachusetts and across the country.
The answer to this problem is not to allow illegals to obtain official driver’s licenses. The answer, for the good of everyone in Massachusetts and everyone in the United States, is to demand that Congress do its job, secure the border, and pass meaningful and complete immigration legislation on the federal level.
In closing, it’s important to point out that Massachusetts has the highest migration of illegals between 2007-2017, according to Pew Research Center, The Bay State added more than 60,000 illegals over the 10-year span, most in the nation. Docs anyone not think it’s related to the fact that, according to the DEA Drug Threat Assessment Report, Massachusetts is the second-most common place to find fentanyl in the U.S.?
As an elected official, I took an oath to uphold the constitution and protect the citizens of the Commonwealth. Nowhere in that oath does it give me the right to reward those who violate our laws with the privileges afforded to those who obey them.