Sheriff Stevens addresses national and local security

Seneca County Sheriff Fredrick Stevens addresses illegal immigration

By Sheri Trusty, Seneca County Media Relations Coordinator

From left, Zach Stumpf of Scanner Media, Seneca County Sheriff Fredrick Stevens and Nancy Bailey talk after the sheriff gave a presentation on illegal immigration to North Central Ohio Conservatives. The meeting was held in the barn of Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart.

North Central Ohio Conservatives welcomed Seneca County Sheriff Fredrick Stevens to their March 7 meeting which was held in the barn of Seneca County Commissioner Bill Frankart. Stevens presented a talk on the national and local impact of illegal immigration.

“I am not against legal immigration,” Stevens said. “We can’t survive without legal immigration. Our country has always used legal immigration to prop us up.”

Stevens presented staggering data that highlighted the rising shift in illegal immigration.

“This past December, U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel encountered 301,983 aliens who had crossed America’s unprotected Southern border unlawfully,” he said.

About 2.54 million illegal immigrants entered the U.S. in 2023. Another estimated 840,000 illegals entered the country but are not accounted for. Those numbers place economic pressure on the nation. Stevens said data shows that illegal immigrants receive about $42 billion in benefits through welfare programs.

The illegal immigrant population also compromises national security.

“Between 2003 and 2009, illegals in the U.S. committed approximately 70,000 sex crimes, 42,000 robberies, 81,000 auto thefts, 95,000 weapons offenses and 213,000 assaults,” Stevens said. “During that same period, some 115,717 murders were committed nationwide, of which 25,064 were carried out by criminal aliens.”

Each of those numbers tells the story of real people whose lives were traumatized by illegal immigration.

“Every statistic behind illegal immigration crime represents a real victim whose life may be permanently ruined, if not ended altogether, by people possessing no legal right to even set foot on American soil,” Stevens said.

Although the local impact of illegal immigration is limited, it does exist, and law enforcement personnel across the state are preparing for an increase in activity. Seneca County is in Region 1 of the Ohio Homeland Security Planning Regions. According to Ohio Homeland Security’s Ohio Terrorist Watchlist Snapshot, law enforcement had five encounters with known or suspected terrorists or transnational organized criminals in 2023.

“In Region 1, there were five law enforcement encounters with someone on the terrorist watchlist in the last year. That’s five too many,” Stevens said. “I don’t have to be a prophet to say that something’s going to happen. It’s not if. It’s when.”

Stevens said locals must remain vigilant of suspicious activity, and he encourages residents to report anything unusual that they see.

“If you see something, say something. You’re not bothering us,” he said.

Local residents can help protect the county by voting for elected officials who understand the threat of illegal immigration and are willing to proactively address the problem.

“There are rights we have just by being born here, and those rights are slowly being eroded away,” Stevens said. “We need to continue doing locally what we can to keep it out of our community. I don’t want to lose our way of life here in Seneca County.”