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Immigration

Maryland Sanctuary County Will Now Allow ICE Access to Jails after Releasing Multiple Illegal Aliens Charged with Rape

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) officers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at a agricultural facility in Miss., U.S. August 7, 2019 (Enforcement/Reuters)

Three months after calling ICE’s pursuit of undocumented criminals “the definition of terrorism,” Montgomery County, Md., executive Marc Elrich has quietly reversed the barring of ICE officials from accessing the county jail.

The move comes in the wake of several high-profile cases of sexual assault committed by illegal aliens in the county, including seven cases in August alone, in which the perpetrators were released by the county on bond, rather than handed over to ICE.

In July, Elrich, a Democrat, released an executive order titled “Promoting Community Trust,” which barred compliance with immigration detainers, preventing Montgomery County police from handing over illegal immigrants to ICE agents or even allowing federal agents access to local jails.

“If ICE thinks it’s really important, they can probably get here. You know, they’ve got cars. They know where the jail is,” Elrich said at the time. “. . . It’s not my job to do that part of their job. If ICE manages to be outside the door when someone walks outside the door, I can’t do anything about that, but if they ask us on anything other than a judicial order, then we’re not holding them.”

Last week, a county spokesman confirmed to local station ABC7 that Montgomery County will now give ICE jail access on detainers to “ensure that transfers are conducted in a safe environment.”

Elrich was also in recent news for banning the displaying of a “thin blue line” flag donated to the 5th District police station in Germantown by a resident and his young son.

“The flag provides a symbol of support to some but it is a symbol of dismissiveness to others,” Elrich said in a statement. “Under my administration, we are committed to improving police relations with the community and will immediately address any action that stands against our mission.”

The move prompted a rebuttal from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican who has a 64 percent approval rating in the state.

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