Attorney General Jeff Sessions urged Maryland not to pass a law turning the state into a “sanctuary” for illegal alien criminals by forbidding state and local police from working with federal immigration authorities.
“I would plead with the people of Maryland to understand that this makes the state of Maryland more at risk for violence and crime,” Sessions said on Monday. “It is not good policy.”
The plea came when he was asked about the alleged Mar. 16 rape of a 14-year-old girl by two migrants from Central America in Rockville, Md, as Democrats in the state capitol are pushing a bill to make Maryland a sanctuary state.
“Well, you know, Maryland is talking about a state law to make the state a sanctuary state,” Sessions said at a White House press conference. “The governor is opposed to that, and that I’m glad to hear. That would be such a mistake.”
Sessions also urged police to turn over illegal alien criminals to federal immigration authorities.
“And as a former prosecutor for many years on state and federal law and jurisdictions, I just know the historic relationship different federal agencies have with regard to honoring detainers,” he said. “It’s just a fundamental principle of law enforcement that if you have a person arrested and another jurisdiction has a charge, then they file a detainer, and when you finish with the prisoner, you turn them over to the next jurisdiction for their adjudication. That is what should be done.”
The Democrat-controlled Maryland House of Delegates approved Maryland Law Enforcement and Trust Act, which would, among other things, prohibit police from asking about a suspects’ immigration status and stop them from handing over illegals to federal enforcement agents unless “required by federal law,” and require that police obtain a warrant from a judge before complying with an ICE detainer request.
Maryland’s Republican governor Larry Hogan threatened to veto the bill, calling it “outrageously irresponsible.”
“The Maryland House of Delegates tonight passed an outrageously irresponsible bill that will make Maryland a sanctuary state and endanger our citizens,” he said in a statement posted to Facebook on Mar. 21. “This legislation would interfere with our state and local law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal law enforcement authorities. I will veto this dangerously misguided legislation the moment that it reaches my desk.”
As Breitbart News has reported, Montgomery County is one of the “most prominent” sanctuary cities in the country, where roughly half of the entire state’s migrant population lives.
Sessions also warned sanctuary cities that they acted counter to the will of an overwhelming majority of voters. “According to one recent poll, 80 percent of Americans believe that cities that make arrests—that arrest illegal immigrants for crimes — should be required to turn them over to immigration authorities. Unfortunately, some states and cities have adopted policies designed to frustrate this enforcement of immigration laws,” Sessions said.
Jurisdictions that impede immigration enforcement could lose millions in federal dollars, Sessions said.
A Department of Homeland Security report revealed “that in a single week, there were more than 200 instances of jurisdictions refusing to honor ICE detainer requests with respect to individuals charged or convicted of a serious crime,” he said.
“These charges and convictions against these aliens include drug trafficking, hit-and-run, rape, sex offenses against a child and even murder,” Sessions added. “Such policies cannot continue. They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the streets.”