Maryland’s sanctuary state bill simply will not stay dead. Last year’s version was all over the news, and while this year’s edition may not be in the headlines yet, it’s no less dangerous.
Initially, the bill looked like it would sail through the Maryland legislature. However, on March 17, 2017, two male students at Rockville High School were arrested for allegedly raping their fourteen-year-old female classmate in a school bathroom stall. Both suspects were in the United States illegally, and one was already in deportation proceedings.
But Montgomery County has been a sanctuary county since at least 2014, so it’s hardly surprising the two illegal aliens were still in school endangering other students. And the negative national and international media coverage the case garnered wasn’t enough to stop the House of Delegates from passing the sanctuary state bill three days later by a wide margin, 83-55.
As soon as it passed, Governor Larry Hogan described the bill as “outrageously irresponsible” and “dangerously misguided,” promising to veto it “the moment” it reached his desk. Under heavy public scrutiny, previous support in the Maryland Senate rapidly melted away. A narrower Senate version, SB 835, was voted down by the Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee, despite its Democratic majority. And ultimately, the sanctuary bill died at the end of the legislative session.
Now it’s 2018 and suddenly Maryland has a sanctuary state bill yet again. House Bill 1461, absurdly called the SAFE Act (for “Supporting All Families Everywhere”) was filed on February 9. Like last year’s Trust Act, it violates federal law by prohibiting state and local law enforcement from honoring immigration detainers without judicial warrants and from asking about anyone’s immigration status.
In the meantime, the woeful immigration situation that led to the death of last year’s bill has only gotten worse. Both Montgomery County and the City of Rockville have adopted far-reaching sanctuary policies, and while the charges against the accused Rockville High students were ultimately dropped, there’s hardly been any lack of horrific new crimes by illegal aliens.
Hopefully, logic will prevail and this year’s sanctuary insanity will meet the same fate as last year’s bill.