FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims joined President Trump on Friday at the southern border.
Action News spoke with Sheriff Mims about the President's visit and why she believes border security is vital to the Central Valley.
As President Trump made his way down the law enforcement line, Mims was prepared to do more than just shake the hand of the commander-in-chief.
Video shows Mims removing her Fresno Sheriff's Office star pin from her lapel and giving it to the head of state.
This was the start of Trump's visit in Calexico - where he inspected a refurbished section of fencing at the Mexican border.
He insisted the U.S. immigration system is overburdened and illegal crossings must be stopped.
In his efforts to strengthen border security, the president held a roundtable discussion - listening to local leaders like Mims about their concerns.
Mims told Action News she specifically mentioned to the president about the fentanyl crisis in the Central Valley.
"Narcotics detectives have been seizing fentanyl that has come across the border. And then our MS-15 investigation where illegal immigrants from El Salvador end up in our area and commit horrendous crimes. And the number I gave - 18 homicides we were able to identify."
Those numbers she says involve people from the Fresno County community.
But local immigration advocate Stan Santos is not buying it.
He believes this is all political.
"The last time she made these types of claims was roughly in close proximity to the November election. Now that Trump is on the campaign trail again and he's using immigrant-bashing as a strong part of the campaign, she is like the chorus," Santos said.
Mims though says that is not the case.
"This is truly all about public safety and I have to do all that I can to keep my community safe. This is not political," she said.
Fresno County Sheriff meets President Trump, discusses fentanyl crisis
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