BUTLER COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones has a strong message for Mexican officials, and it has started a conversation on both sides of the issue.
Sheriff Jones sent a letter to the Mexican government asking for money to pay for all the illegal immigrants they've housed for the last ten years.
Jones says in the last ten years, they've spent nearly a million dollars housing criminal aliens in Butler County, and now he wants the country of Mexico to be responsible for its citizens.
"They're called illegal because it's illegal for them to be here," said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.
Since 2004, Sheriff Jones says his department arrested more than 3,000 Mexican nationals for committing local crimes.
"They were going in my jail, they were getting out of my jail. They were going in my jail, they were committing crime after crime after crime," said Jones.
Jones says their average stay is about five days before they're released to the US Federal Agency. At a cost of $60 a day, Jones says that's a total of more than $900,000 for housing criminal aliens, and that doesn't include the manpower that goes into each case.
"10 percent of my jail are the illegals that have committed crime here, and we do deportations all the time," said Jones
Not everyone agrees with Jones sending this letter south of the border.
"I think that's way out of his jurisdiction, he had no right to do that and I feel that formed an opinion over there in Mexico about Americans. That isn't exactly fair and I feel he's putting our citizens at risk for traveling there," said Jennifer Nicole Young.
Jennifer Nicole Young says she knows families who've been separated because of deportation, and doesn't think Sheriff Jones has all the answers.
"Obviously people who enter illegally they're breaking the law but to say that every illegal alien deserves to be deported and families ripped apart. I don't agree with that," said Young.
This past week the city of Cincinnati formed a task force on immigration. Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley says the goal is to make Cincinnati the most immigrant friendly city in the nation.
[Related: Cranley creates immigration task force]
"Besides bringing new ideas and fresh perspectives, they also preserve existing jobs and they create new jobs, and stabilize and strengthen our housing market," said Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley.
"If he wants these people to come to his community, I encourage them to leave my community and go to his community," said Jones.
Sheriff Jones says it's time for our nation's leaders to come to a sensible compromise to protect America from illegal aliens, but welcome those who deserve to be here.
"I know lots of communities that don't want them and those that do, they must have lots of money and resources, we do not. We're recovering, but it's by cuts and there's no jobs. We don't need anymore jobs taken away," said Jones.
Jennifer Young says she's organizing a protest outside the Butler County Sheriff's Office Thursday morning at 11:00 in response to the actions of Sheriff Jones.
Jones is standing behind this letter, citing the financial burden these illegal immigrants put on his community.
A new Associated Press poll finds two-thirds of Americans now say illegal immigration is a serious problem for the country, up 14 points since May.