FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Tarrant County Sheriff Bill Waybourn addressing the controversy and criticism Friday resulting from his comments made at the White House on Thursday.
Sheriff Waybourn told CBS 11 he doesn’t regret his statements about repeat criminals who are in Texas illegally, but he did say his remarks possibly could have “used some more polish.”
“Right after all that was done I read that report that basically I said ‘all migrants were drunks’, and I was thinking, ‘where did they get that’?”
The backlash came after Sheriff Waybourn spoke about repeat criminals, some accused of driving drunk, and concern a judge’s ruling may make it harder to hold them for immigration officials.
The Sheriff told CBS 11 he had one specific detainee currently in the Tarrant County Jail on his mind when he as speaking.
Here is what he said on Thursday:
“So if we have to turn them loose or they get released, they’re coming back to your neighborhood and my neighborhood. These drunks will run over your children, and they will run over my children.”
When asked if he would rephrase those comments now, Sheriff Waybourn said, “Well, I wanted to be direct, so I’d probably stand by, I don’t regret what I say. Could it be polished or articulated better? Possibly. My wife reminds me of that all the time.”
Waybourn said he specifically didn’t mention race or country of origin and said he didn’t understand why some critics did.
His focus he said was on repeat offenders and the ability to remove them from the area.
“We’ve got a border issue. We’ve got a lot of issues. The issue I’m dealing with is we’ve got an illegal immigrant who committed a criminal violation on Texas soil against Texas citizens or others and we’re holding them accountable.”
The Sheriff said he also received complaints about his hat. He wore a black one in Washington because it matched his uniform.
There were a number of people who called his office Friday who thought he should have a white hat on at all times.