Legal immigrants helped to defeat a bill that would have made Maryland a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants, says the New York Times, which admitted their “voices have rarely been heard in the long debate over how to fix the nation’s immigration system.”
The Times reports: “The failure of the sanctuary bills in Maryland reveals a potentially troublesome fissure for Democrats as they rush to defy Mr. Trump. Their party has staked out an activist position built around protecting undocumented immigrants. But it is one that has alienated many who might have been expected to support it.”
In March, the Democrat-controlled Maryland House of Delegates had approved Maryland Law Enforcement and Trust Act, which would have in part prohibited police from asking about a suspects’ immigration status or handing illegals over to federal enforcement agents, unless “required by federal law.” The legislation ultimately failed after sparking an uproar and earning rebukes from both U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
Foreign-born Maryland residents who worked hard to become law-abiding, U.S. residents were particularly incensed by the bill. The Times notes that supporters of the sanctuary bill had labeled them as “white-collar professionals whose personal struggles could not compare” with illegal aliens.
In response, one naturalized citizen told the Times: “Just because you are a productive member of society, working hard, mowing lawns, that should not be the reason to give you that gold. You kind of jammed something down America’s throat.”
Another legal immigrant from El Salvador, who had once overstayed his visa before obtaining a green card, is worried about the rapidly increasing public school population that has also led to a rise in property taxes and the growth of the murderous MS-13 gang. “I have three daughters right now and I’m thinking about them. Don’t I have the right to be afraid that this kind of stuff is increasing?” he asked.
An Indian entrepreneur said he frustrated by the way progressives conflate foreign lawbreakers with legal immigrants. “It’s always crime statistics for all immigrants. It’s true—crime is very low for legal immigrants. But I want to know about illegal immigrants. Nobody has statistics for that,” he told the Times.
Pushing for a bill to shield illegal alien criminals while refusing to discuss illegals’ crime rates has alienated immigrants who have voted for Democrats for years.
The Times is puzzled by legal immigrants’ opposition to sanctuary jurisdictions and labels them a “surprise foe” to the bill as if immigrants must maintain ethnic loyalty to illegal immigrants or political loyalty to progressives’ goal of diversity, above their natural loyalty to family and their sworn loyalty to fellow citizens.
A Rasmussen poll found only 35 percent of voters would want to live in a sanctuary city, whereas 52 would not—and 54 percent of liberals polled said they would not. A February poll conducted by Harvard-Harris found 80 percent of respondents opposed sanctuary cities. A McLaughlin & Associates found that 46 percent of Hispanic voters supported “cutting off federal grants to cities that break the law by refusing to turn in criminal illegal aliens.”