Stiff Penalties For This Suburb Community for Aiding ICE
A D.C. suburb passed a new law to where they are punishing officials who aide the immigration enforcement officers in any way shape or form. The suburb community in Maryland made it clear to officials in Montgomery County unless they have a warrant or a court order, they cannot assist ICE. An executive order was signed by Marc Elrich, the county’s executive officer and goes into effect immediately. Montgomery County Officials will not be allowed to give ICE access to illegal immigrants, access to nonpublic places, or allow them to take into custody an illegal immigrant who is detained for another crime. County police officers cannot even ask about a person’s status on immigration.
This order places the county as a sanctuary for illegal immigrants to avoid being arrested and deported. It allows illegal immigrants to interact with anyone from the law without the worry of being detained or handed over to ICE. The repercussions will be harsh, and any official who violates the ruling will be disciplined. Elrich told journalists, “It has the force of law. It’s not just symbolic that I did this. This legally codifies what I said I was going to do, and residents can have this assurance.”
At a press conference earlier this week, Elrich stated, “The Promoting Community Trust Executive Order aims to reaffirm current County policy and improve community security by ensuring that immigrant and otherwise vulnerable communities can engage with County departments, including public safety departments, with assurance that such engagement will not be used to assist in civil immigration enforcement or a federal discriminatory practice.”
More examples were given to make the point clearer. County departments and personnel cannot investigate or assist any federal officer who is in search of someone suspected to be an illegal alien. No threats can be issued by the County officials based on a person’s citizenship or use any county resources to assist federal agents. Strict disciplinary actions will occur if any officials arrest a person if they feel the person is an illegal immigrant. Elrich said, “Enforcing immigration laws is the sole responsibility of the federal government of the United States. It is not in the interest of Montgomery County to utilize its limited resources to facilitate the enforcement of civil immigration law.”
Montgomery County has a policy already which states, “County officials do not collaborate with federal immigration agents.” The Acting Police Chief for Montgomery, Marcus Jones told journalists, “We have no direct contact with ICE about any immigration issues. We’re not doing any operations with ICE in Montgomery County.”
Even with the policy in place, chaos and fear have spread across Montgomery County with the ICE raids. Officials and the police told residences in the county there is nothing to worry about, but the people are still afraid. If they are legal, they have nothing to worry about. The problem is, the county became a sanctuary, and it is full of illegal immigrants.
Councilmember Gabe Albornoz said at an event earlier in the week, “It is unfortunate that we have to be here in the first place. Local jurisdictions across this country have had to step forward to ensure that we provide safety and security for our neighbors, our friends, and community residents across the country because of the utter and complete failure of our federal system to be able to enact common sense and moral immigration reform.”
Albornoz added, “They don’t want to spend their life savings. They don’t want to risk their lives to come here to experience the challenges that they’re feeling here. They are coming out of a definitive necessity. An economic and criminal justice crisis that’s going on in the countries of their origin.” Albornoz concluded with this statement, “We have to empathize and understand that the reasons they are leaving are many. The solutions are complex. But while they are here. We need to do everything we can to support them.” And that is where the problem lies, with officials like this who support the illegal part of the immigration.
Nancy Navarro, the County Council President, stated, “I want to make sure that people understand that it is a fallacy when folks try to somehow scapegoat immigrants as if we are here to somehow to destroy the fabric of this country, a country that was really formed on the basis of welcoming people who were facing persecution and welcoming those who wanted that American Dream.” America does welcome immigrants, just not illegally.