Butler County’s practically another country from here. It sits in the far southwest corner of the state, smack between Cincinnati and Dayton. But Sheriff Richard Jones
is about ready to redraw our border with Mexico – at the Ohio River.
Jones says Mexican illegals are flooding Butler County in record numbers, stealing good construction jobs from decent Americans and smuggling in truckloads of weed. “We’re being invaded, basically,” he says.
It was two years ago, he says, that he caught the shift in his jail: more tan, less sunburned, and almost no English. Drugs were pouring into the area, along with a booming trade in fake IDs. Desperate for help, Jones called the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement office in Columbus. But they couldn’t spare any agents – most were too busy trying to banish the undesirables who pour in from the University of Michigan every other November.
So Jones deputized himself. He began conducting his own investigations, effectively doing the feds’ work for them. And to scare the employers hiring illegals, he threw up billboards, bought full-page ads in area newspapers and posted signs (“Illegal Immigrants Here”) in front of his office. He even started a blog
, which he says now attracts several thousand hits a month. “People are so hungry for this,” he says.
Now Butler County’s helping to deport 40 illegals every month, costing taxpayers a fortune. Since he figures he’s doing the government’s job, Jones wants reimbursement. And come to think of it, policing Mexican nationals is technically Mexico’s job, too, so why not send a bill to President Felipe Calderon
? One recent pot bust netted almost 60 pounds – $1,000 a pound sound fair? “In American dollars,” he says. “No pesos.”
Jones has become an authority of sorts on immigration. He’s appeared on CNN, Fox News, and CNBC (a handful of which you can see here
). His story’s been picked up by media outlets in the U.K., Russia, Australia and Italy. The White House even sent an envoy to persuade Jones to support the recently defeated immigration bill. They gave up after three hours. “It was full of earmarks,” says Jones. “It was a shit bill.”
Instead, he’s lobbying state legislators for a bill empowering local law enforcement to act against illegals. Jones don’t need no stinking feds – just a little bigger budget. “Here in Ohio, we’re leading the charge, brother.” – Jason Nedley