Legal immigrants in Maryland are largely opposing localities becoming sanctuary cities.
In Howard County, Maryland, where Democratic lawmakers are pushing a sanctuary bill, a number of legal immigrants showed up to local city council meetings to oppose the plan, saying it delegitimizes the process legal immigrants had to go through to make it to the U.S., according to the New York Times.
The Times profiled four legal immigrants, all opposed to the prospect of seeing their community and neighborhoods become shelters for illegal immigrants and criminals associated with foreign crime syndicates like the MS-13 gang.
Legal immigrant from El Salvador Stanley Salazar told the New York Times he opposed sanctuary cities because he did not want to see his new home become the country he left:
Mr. Salazar thinks sanctuary would be bad for Maryland. He bases this on what has already happened in Montgomery County, where he has been part of a Hispanic population boom.
The Salvadoran gang MS-13 has gained strength in the area recently, the authorities say, partly because of an influx of undocumented children arriving without their parents. The young arrivals are more susceptible to recruitment by gangs.
Mr. Salazar sees the statistics: At least 16 homicides in the county have been attributed to gangs since June 2015. About half have been linked to MS-13, including the killing of a 15-year-old girl in Gaithersburg.
“I have three daughters right now and I’m thinking about them,” Mr. Salazar said, sipping a milkshake at a Burger King in Gaithersburg. “Don’t I have the right to be afraid that this kind of stuff is increasing?”
Another legal immigrant, Hongling Zhou, who came to U.S. from China and now works as a statistician, said she opposes sanctuary cities because of the over-crowding in public schools:
Ms. Zhou first learned of it on WeChat, a messaging app popular among Chinese-Americans. She talked to friends and neighbors. Nobody liked the idea. Many were afraid that carving out a safe space for illegal immigrants would mean that more would come, and that public-school classes would swell and teachers would be spread thin.
So on a cold night in early January, about a dozen people gathered around Ms. Zhou’s long wooden dining table, drafted short speeches and took turns delivering them over steaming bowls of sweet bean soup with chia seeds. Most, she said, had never done anything more political than vote.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has begun the crackdown of sanctuary cities, with threats to withhold some federal funds if a locality obstructs federal immigration officials from being able to enforce immigration law.
Last month, Sessions’ Department of Justice (DOJ) sent out letters to 10 sanctuary cities who are currently shielding illegal immigrants, as Breitbart News reported.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.