WASHINGTON — President Trump gave his tough-on-crime, tough-on-drugs and tough-on-immigration message to a receptive audience Tuesday, inviting sheriffs to the White House to enlist their support for his policies.
"My administration stands proudly with America's sheriffs, deputies, and law enforcement officers. And we stand, also, 100% with strong law and order. We want you to just keep doing your job as well as you're doing it," Trump told the sheriffs.
Trump touted a number of promises fulfilled to state and local police over his first year: Reversing former president Barack Obama's partial ban on the sale of military equipment, more federal gun crime prosecutions and a return to stricter drug prosecutions.
"We're taking the fight to the drug dealers and drug pushers which, frankly, I think, is the number-one way we're going to stop drugs," he said. "We can form all the Blue Ribbon Committees in the world, but the way you're going to stop it is you folks, with the strong, really, law and order, when it comes to the drug, and the drug pushers, the drug dealers. That's the way it's going to stop."
Trump also enlisted the support of sheriffs on immigration, saying that he's proposing to build a border wall, curtail family-based migration end to visa lottery programs "so you people can enforce the laws."
Other countries, he said, are "not giving us their finest. That we can tell you."
Afterward, the sheriffs applauded Trump for delivering on his promises and said they supported his crackdown on undocumented immigrants.
"My view is as a sheriff, if we are going to secure the homeland it is imperative that he build some kind of border wall," said Ira Edwards, sheriff of Athens-Clarke County, Ga.
Trump's meeting with the National Sheriff's Association came the day after his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, lauded the role of sheriffs as "a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement."