A new crackdown on “sanctuary” communities has begun in Maryland, as Homeland Security has identified three Maryland counties harboring illegal immigrants.
A month ago, Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh wrote to federal authorities asking that they declare the state’s courts, schools and hospitals off limits to immigration agents. Frosh, a 嘉盛 Democrat, wrote that he was sending the letter in response to new immigration guidelines issued by the Trump administration that greatly expand the number of people considered a priority for removal from the country.
“I am concerned that the Administration’s aggressive new policies will discourage the most vulnerable immigrants from seeking judicial protection and medical care, which will cause avoidable injuries and potentially even deaths,” Frosh wrote.
“I ask that you take action to remove this immediate threat to the health and safety of immigrants in Maryland by declaring our courts and hospitals to be safe locations, where U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs & Border Protection authorities will not be allowed to identify and seize potential deportees.”
Frosh’s request mirrored efforts by jurisdictions led by Democrats in Maryland and around the country to declare themselves sanctuaries, meaning they won’t use local resources to aid efforts to seize immigrants.
However, all that was before AG Sessions surprise press conference last week in which he detailed the administration was stepping up its push back against cities that break the law by not enforcing actions against illegal immigrants.
“Today, I’m urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws. Moreover, the Department of Justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for DOJ grants to certify compliance with 1373 as a condition for receiving those awards.”
“This policy is entirely consistent with the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs guidance that was issued just last summer under the previous administration.”
“This guidance requires jurisdictions to comply and certify compliance with Section 1373 in order to be eligible for OJP grants. It also made clear that failure to remedy violations could result in withholding grants, termination of grants and disbarment or ineligibility for future grants.”
“The DOJ will also take all lawful steps to claw back any fines awarded to a jurisdiction that willfully violates Section 1373.”
Sessions also called on states like Maryland and California to scrap their plans for becoming a sanctuary state.
“That would be such a mistake.”
“I would plead with the people of Maryland to understand this makes the state of Maryland more at risk for violence and crime, that it’s not good policy.”