Tarrant County Sheriff Criticized For "Drunks" Remark At White House Press Briefing

Andrew Greenstein
October 10, 2019 - 2:55 pm
White House

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FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD) - The sheriff of Tarrant County is taking heat for some comments made at The White House.

Sheriff Bill Waybourn spoke during a White House press briefing with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Matt Albence.

As Waybourn noted that 72% of undocumented immigrants in his jail are repeat offenders, he said, "These drunks will run over your children, and they will run over my children." 

Rene Martinez with the Dallas council of LULAC says that comment was uncalled for.

"It’s pretty disgusting and racist for that matter," Martinez says. "I think the constituents of Tarrant County ought to hold him accountable."

Waybourn's spokesman, David McClelland, says the sheriff was not making a blanket generalization with his remark.

"He was not referring to all immigrants or criminal aliens when he was referring to drunks," McClelland tells KRLD. "He was referring to DWI and DWI repeat offenders."

McClelland released a statement:

"Sheriff Waybourn was not referring to all legal or illegal immigrants when making his comments about DWI/DWI repeat offenders. He was speaking toward the charges of DWI and DWI repeat offender in the context of illegal immigration. We believe DWI is a very serious charge, and any time a person chooses to drive under the influence, they run the risk of killing or seriously injuring members of our community. By prosecuting repeat offenders to the fullest extent of the law, we help keep our communities safer.

"With that being said, the last time we looked at the numbers, nearly 25% of the illegal immigrants in our jail have charges of DWI and/or DWI repeat offender.

"Furthermore, we believe the men and women of law enforcement, who are choosing to serve our communities, are brave and noble individuals who should not be demeaned for enforcing the laws passed by our legislatures."