Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Help Save Maryland Meets Montgomery County

Help Save Maryland Newsletter

On Friday, January 16, representatives from Help Save Maryland (Director Brad Botwin, Melissa Andersen, Steve Berryman), Judicial Watch (President Tom Fitton), Montgomery Citizens for a Safer Maryland (Chairman Robert Culver) and the Maryland Coalition of Community Organizers (Susan Payne) will be meeting with officials from Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett's staff (Ike himself??), Montgomery County Police (Chief Tom Manger) and Department of Correction and Rehabilitation (Director Arthur Wallenstein), and the Montgomery County States Attorney's Office (Deputy John Maloney) to discuss needed changes to county policies and procedures regarding the arrest, detention, and deportation of illegal aliens.

We will keep you posted on the outcome of the meeting!

Brad Botwin


Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009Check immigration status of everyone involved with police

For more than a decade, Montgomery County has been a shining light on the hill to the illegal immigration community. Successive county executives, including the current office holder, County Executive Isiah Leggett, have maintained a de facto sanctuary haven for illegal aliens from around the globe.

The county funnels millions of dollars annually to illegal immigrant support groups like Casa of Maryland, Identity Inc. and Catholic Charities to run social welfare programs and job-matching day labor centers. Also, Maryland is one of four states remaining that does not require proof of citizenship to obtain a drivers' license, making Montgomery a popular destination.

From a law enforcement perspective, the county police and Department of Correction and Rehabilitation have been forbidden from inquiring about the immigration status of suspects, those already incarcerated, or from working with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents (except in the most high profile cases). County Police Chief Tom Manger and Corrections Director Arthur Wallenstein believe that partnering with ICE would "chill relations with the immigrant community," cause witnesses to fear police and crimes to go unreported.

However, this approach may soon end. A brutal string of murders allegedly by illegal alien gang members and day laborers has alarmed the community. In every murder case, the police, Department of Corrections and/or Department of Motor Vehicles were familiar with the gang members or day laborers from a previous run-in with the law or license application.

The community uproar has resulted in a review of policies and procedures for dealing with suspected illegal aliens by county law enforcement and correction officials. This is the second comprehensive review in the last year. The first review resulted in maintaining the current hands-off policy guidelines. However, with crime increasing and bodies piling up in the county morgue, real change is now being proposed. But will it be enough?

Help Save Maryland understands the draft proposal would allow police to detain only violent suspects in custody, with a focus on gang members to determine their immigration status. Unfortunately, four of the six recent murders allegedly were conducted by non-violent day laborers, not violent gang members. Even more disturbing is how long it is taking Leggett to get a tougher revised policy in place.

Help Save Maryland advocates that all county residents be screened for immigration status when involved with the police, be it for a traffic ticket or an assault charge. In addition, all those being held in county correction facilities should likewise be screened by ICE agents. It's time to send a strong message that the county's law-abiding citizens have the final say on enforcing the law.

Brad Botwin, Rockville The writer is director of Help Save Maryland, a grass-roots organization opposed to illegal immigration.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Montgomery County is full of illegal aliens. One example: almost all the restaurantes hire illegals to do the work in the kitchen. In my workplace I am the only worker with legal residence. The rest is working with false names. It is sad that Maryland is a sanctuary state. The autority don't respect the law. I want to help to save Maryland.

5:27 PM, January 15, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Montgomery County Maryland is a joke. Read their statement on the ACLU website here:

Your GOVERNMENT in action protecting whom?

7:13 PM, February 21, 2010  

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