Attorney General Jeff Sessions said sheriffs are a "critical part" of the "Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement" during a speech Monday.
"The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement. We must never erode this historic office. I know this, you know this, we want to be partners, we don’t want to be bosses, we want to strengthen you and help you be more effective in your work," Sessions told the National Sheriffs' Association.
Sessions made the comment after thanking the 75-year-old law enforcement group for its work in aiding the Justice Department to crack down on illegal immigration, among other issues.
In an earlier version of the speech released by the Justice Department early Monday, the phrase "Anglo American" was not included. "The Sheriff is a critical part of our legal heritage," did appear.
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Hours later in Philadelphia, Sessions was the keynote speaker at the Abraham Lincoln Foundation. Sessions said the DOJ seeks to honor Lincoln's legacy by upholding the rule of law. He spoke about offering legal counsel to end the "unlawful DACA policy," and said they are no longer allowing sanctuary jurisdictions to "defy federal immigration law if they want to receive our law enforcement grants."