Republican Governor Larry Hogan has put an end to the city of Baltimore’s “sanctuary city” status by reversing the decision made by the previous administration to not cooperate with immigration officials. Martin O’Malley, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, instituted the policy just last year and Hogan quietly reversed it after taking office in January.
The move comes to focus as the controversy surrounding immigration and sanctuary cities continues to be a focus of the presidential campaign season. Lawmakers on Capital Hill have introduced legislation that would defund a significant portion of federal revenue for localities that defy federal immigration law, including notification to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the imminent release of those criminal aliens that it has signaled are a target of deportation action.
Critics of Hogan’s cite a diminished level of trust between law enforcement and immigrant communities as a reason the move is likely to decrease public safety.
The Obama Administration, which has used its authority to determine how to apply resources to immigration enforcement, focuses most of its attention on targeting criminal aliens which have been found guilty of serious crimes including most violent crime. The case could be made that communities that actively inhibit efforts of this kind are instead choosing to needlessly risk the public safety by releasing known dangerous criminals back onto the streets once their jail or prison sentences have been carried out.
On Tuesday an illegal immigrant in Florida was taken into custody and charged with the murder of three family members he had been staying with. The crime scene was described as “more brutal than what would be considered normal”. The alleged murderer comes from a known criminal family in Belize where he has previously been a suspect in a double murder in 2013. The illegal alien crossed the U.S.-Mexican border earlier this year after carrying out an alleged armed robbery in his home country.
Of course, as Jeb Bush would say, his coming here was an act of love!
Friday, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee criticized the current state of affairs:
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“How many Americans must die at the hands of unlawful criminal immigrants before the Obama administration takes a serious look at the failure of its own policies?” said Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, Virginia Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Mr. Goodlatte and Sen. Charles E. Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, demanded information Friday on what federal immigration officials knew of an illegal immigrant who was convicted of strangling a female co-worker and burning her body. They want to know if immigration authorities had ever encountered but released the man before the horrific crime.