Thursday, March 02, 2017

Legal immigrants turn out in force to oppose sanctuary bill in Annapolis (Photos)

A House of Delegates bill that would officially designate Maryland a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants ran into opposition from legal immigrants Tuesday, who waited out an epic public hearing that lasted until the early hours of Wednesday morning. The House Judiciary Committee convened at 1:00 PM for an agenda that included a hearing on the "Trust Act," HB 1362. Chair Joseph Vallario (D - District 23B) appeared to stall the hearing in an attempt to wear out citizens who had traveled far to testify, not taking up the bill until 7:00 PM.
Legal immigrants who testified
against HB 1362 are joined by
Silver Spring resident Hessie Harris
(center) and Del. Deb Rey (R - District 29B)
Dozens of citizens spoke in opposition to the bill, including 35 legal immigrants organized by the Maryland Chinese-American Network and Asian-American GOP coalition. Speakers also included Hessie Harris, an African-American woman from Silver Spring.

Some of those testifying questioned the fairness of exempting those who did not come here legally from the law. "I love Montgomery County," testified Shawn Nie of North Potomac. "I legally obtained my citizenship through a lengthy and expensive process." 

Others warned of public safety consequences, should the bill pass. "Sanctuary policies essentially create an environment where criminals can go unnoticed,” said Zhenya Li, also from Montgomery County. "Restricting law enforcement risks public safety."

Montgomery County Republican Party Chairman Dick Jurgena called the marathon hearing "one for the record books," and praised those who stayed until midnight and beyond to testify despite the wait. 

HB 1362 is among several legislative efforts to codify sanctuary policies in Maryland, Montgomery County and the City of Rockville currently proposed. Police in Montgomery County are already not allowed to inquire about a person's citizenship status, even without this bill.

Proponents of the policy, and this bill, say the community is safer when undocumented immigrants don't fear interaction with the police. Opponents point to several horrifying crimes that have occurred within the last year, which have been tied to illegal immigrants.

In April 2016, Montgomery County Police arrested two illegal immigrants living in a County Housing Opportunities Commission apartment in Wheaton. The men were charged with abducting a 12-year-old girl, and gang-raping her in that taxpayer-subsidized apartment.

Just last month, 15-year-old Gaithersburg resident Damaris Alexandra Reyes Rivas was found dead in Fairfax County. Her mother told police she had become involved with MS-13 gang members at Watkins Mill High School, before disappearing December 10. Fairfax County police say Reyes Rivas was held prisoner by the gang before being assaulted in an undisclosed fashion, and was executed by them around January 8. Her remains were found in an industrial park on February 11.

After the Judiciary Committee issues a favorable or unfavorable report on HB 1362, it will return for a second reading on the House floor, and consideration for amendments by delegates.

Photos: Xiaoyuan Luo/World Journal


Anonymous said...

I can't see Ms. Harris' face at all. The photos, especially the first one, are "underexposed" as we used to say back in the days of film.

Anonymous said...

The murder happened in Virginia. Virginia is a scary place.

Robert Dyer said...

6:26: She disappeared in Maryland, and the gang was at her school in Gaithersburg. Facts.

Anonymous said...

What's the point of having two photos taken at the same time, in the same place, of the exact same people?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Nothing 6:26 said is wrong. Why are you so argumentative and angry?

Anonymous said...

And a Rockville man, who was not an illegal immigrant killed his neighbors in 2015, put his clothes in their washing machine, before leaving to go on a cruise with his parents.

All are horrific crimes. Not always perpetrated by illegal immigrants. The majority of immigrants just want to work and take care of their families.

There need to be a middle ground. Work towards citizenship or perm resident status. Something that won't completely offend those who worked so hard for so long to get into this country, without ignoring the work put in by others during the years they were here illegally.

Robert Dyer said...

8:01: I feel sorry for you if you believe those few crimes are the only ones that occurred during the period in question. Fortunately, my website actually reports all crime incidents that occur in Bethesda in a more timely fashion that is actually of use to residents, not like the outdated and heavily-censored report from the small and slightly failing magazine you posted (and which I am deleting as spam).

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"The small and slightly failing magazine"

LOL @ Dyer's #FakeNews.

"I am deleting your heavily-censored report"

LOL again.

Anonymous said...

As long as you are deleting, please remove 5:59's offensive rant.

Like the daily mail is respectable? hahahahahah or local.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr. Dyer, for sharing this news. I suspect that Montgomery County and Maryland government will do as it pleases in general. I really hope we can get rid of this 'Sanctuary City' status and start deporting CRIMINALS from our state. The previous poster who said that most illegal immigrants 'do not commit crimes' is a fool. They have already proven their willingness to commit crimes by COMMITTING THE CRIME of sneaking into the country across the border or overstaying their visas!