The Gravity of Democratic Policies on Immigration

We’ve all heard about the gang-related killing in Prince George’s County last week committed by two individuals in the country illegally:

Two teenage suspects in the gang-related killing of an Anne Arundel County, Maryland, girl had been wanted by immigration officials, according to a statement Tuesday from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Last week, Prince George’s County police arrested Josue Rafael Fuentes-Ponce, 16; Joel Ernesto Escobar, 17; and Cynthia Hernandez-Nucamendi, 14, on charges of murder in the killing of 14-year-old Ariana Funes-Diaz, whose body was found in a creek near 64th Avenue in Riverdale, just west of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

Fuentes-Ponce and Escobar are in the country illegally, according to ICE.

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Officers had lodged a detainer on the two, ICE said, when they were arrested by Prince George’s County police on May 11, 2018, on charges of attempted murder, gang activity and other related charges. But they were not notified, they said, when the pair were released.

A spokesman for the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections said in a statement that Fuentes-Ponce and Escobar were not in the county’s correction facility when they were released, and so no notification was provided to ICE.

A court order resulted in their transfer to the Cheltenham Youth Detention Center, a state facility, four days after they were arrested, Andrew Cephas with the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections said.

As it turns out, not only did the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections lie about having Fuentes-Ponce and Escobar in custody, but they also released them despite the detainer. Their guidance for all of this came from (who else) but Attorney General Brian Frosh:

“The Department of Corrections follows the Guidance Memorandum of the Maryland Attorney General to not inform U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency of individuals being released with a detainer, which is a civil matter,” said Andrew Cephas, spokesman for the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections, in an email.

Frosh’s “Legal Guidance for Maryland State and Local Law Enforcement Officials,” issued in December 2018, says that “compliance with ICE detainers is voluntary.” Frosh’s memo also warns that “State and local law enforcement officials are potentially exposed to liability if they hold someone beyond his or her State-law release date without a judicial warrant or probable cause that the detainee has committed a crime.”

Frosh’s memo specified that “Federal law does not require any local government agency or law enforcement officer to communicate with federal immigration authorities.”

So yes, we can explicitly trace this gang-related murder back to the politically motivated decision of Brian Frosh not to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

If that’s not bad enough, don’t forget that there were two bills, one in the House and one in the Senate, introduced during the 2019 General Assembly session that would prohibit correctional officials in Maryland from cooperating with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement on immigration-status related matters, particularly in that a detainer will not be sufficient to keep a somebody suspected of being illegally in the country in custody.

Democrats like to talk about immigration issues as it relates to local law enforcement as something that doesn’t affect all Marylanders. But when instances like this come up, we get to see the full gravity of the situation and the perils of the Democrats open-borders policies.

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