The Maryland sanctuary county, while partially rolling back its anti-ICE policy, has contradicted Montgomery county’s previous statements, where the county accused the ruling government of spreading misinformation about its immigration policies.
In August, the White House stated that Democratic Nominee Marc Elrich, who became Montgomery County Executive in 2018, ordered the county’s agencies not to cooperate with the ICE agents, reasserting the blue region’s stance as a sanctuary city, while signing the executive order that opposed the government’s hardline policies against illegal immigrants in the region.
It appeared as if the county was aiming to protect the undocumented immigrants, deemed as criminals by the ICE. The accusations brought huge criticisms for the county officials, while the policy banned ICE agents from entering any non-public county facilities.
The violent crimes in the county significantly increased with the signing of the order. At least nine illegal immigrants, protected under the sanctuary norms, were charged with rape and sexual assault, which brought concerns over reevaluation of the policy.
“When some law enforcement agencies fail to honor detainers and release serious criminal offenders, it undermines ICE’s ability to protect public safety and carry out its mission” said ICE agents.
As a result, Elrich reversed portions of his previously signed “the Promoting Community Trust Executive Order”.
The barring controversial policy through the roll back would now allow the ICE agents to access the details of Montgomery County jails, forcing cooperation between county law enforcement and federal immigration authorities to apprehend illegal aliens.
The move was deemed necessary in terms of public safety as Montgomery is one of the most diverse counties in the US with 30 percent of its population comprising of the immigration community. Most of the citizens within the county have declined to use the limited community resources that have compromised due to the presence of immigrants.
Marc Elrich, who has himself witnessed the growing racial injustices while spending the majority of his life in Montgomery County, said that such practices inspired him to get involved in politics. While being sworn in as a County Executive, Elrich vowed to use his office to try to “create a more just society”.
On November 1, it was noted that the ICE agents were given access to the “identified areas” of the jail, ensuring that transfers are conducted in a safe and controlled environment.
Arresting a criminal in the safety, security, and privacy of a jail is always the best option, said the ICE agents.
Was this move a part of Elrich’s agendas where he promised to bring changes, while reassuring safety and security of its citizens, or was it to distract the public from the continuing backlashes that he had been receiving from Republican Governor Larry Hogan after he decided that the police department would not be permitted to display a flag associated with the “Blue Lives Matter” cause.
As the 2020 presidential elections are nearing, all the Democratic and Republican leaders are taking precise steps, renewing and reviewing policies that are meant to promote public safety.