|Legal immigrants who testified|
against HB 1362 are joined by
Silver Spring resident Hessie Harris
(center) and Del. Deb Rey (R - District 29B)
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