Maryland Values Criminal Aliens More than Crime Victims

“The first duty of the Government is to afford protection to its citizens.” So said Representative John Farnsworth during Congressional debate in 1867.  Maryland and the city of Rockville woefully failed to fulfill this duty with regard to the 14-year-old Rockville High School student whom, it is alleged, was recently raped by two illegal aliens. It’s mind-boggling  that the response from the Maryland General Assembly and the Rockville City Council has been to consider “sanctuary city” legislation that shelters illegal aliens from federal immigration authorities.

The standard argument offered in support of “sanctuary” policies is that state and local law enforcement agencies must have the trust of illegal aliens if they want them to report crime. Supposedly, they can only gain this trust if illegal aliens believe that local police officers won’t report them to federal immigration authorities.  In essence, local law enforcement officials are saying that they want the power to bargain immigration enforcement away in order to increase successful state prosecutions.  It’s the classic “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” argument that underlies plea bargains.

But here’s where the  argument starts to unravel:  while local police and state prosecutors have the authority to strike plea bargains, they don’t have any authority to offer witnesses or informants immunity from prosecution on federal immigration charges.  So in many jurisdictions, the forces of law and order – local police, local prosecutors, and local courts – conspire to help illegal aliens violate federal immigration law, all in the name of better relations between immigrant communities and the police. (And it’s the only area of law where policing agencies advocate the interests of violators who say they’d prefer less enforcement.  You never hear cops and DA’s arguing that burglars would be more willing to drop a dime on drug dealers and murderers if we just ignored more home invasions.)

Of course, the whole concept is an intellectual house of cards that comes crashing down – usually to the detriment of law abiding Americans – when the slightest breeze of logic blows in.  It’s  absurd to claim that state and local jurisdictions must overlook immigration violations to ensure the cooperation of illegal alien witnesses. Illegal aliens in the United States are regularly unafraid to publicly announce their lack of status,  appear on television news programs, protest in the streets, and march into state and local legislative bodies to advocate “sanctuary” policies. They clearly have no fear of local police.

In addition, the federal government maintains special programs that give lawful immigration status to illegal alien witnesses, informants and victims.  Law enforcement agencies can obtain S visas for illegal aliens who cooperate with investigators and provide information or testimony that aids in arrests or prosecutions. The U and T visas are available to the victims of crime and human trafficking.  There are also special provisions of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) which allow victims of domestic abuse to obtain legal immigration status.  The “sanctuary” offered by state and local jurisdictions doesn’t “protect” illegal aliens from anything.  Federal officials can still arrest and deport them. But when state and local authorities work with the federal government,  illegal alien victims, witnesses, and informants gain lawful status in exchange for their testimony.

So, what do “sanctuary city” policies accomplish? A dangerous breakdown in collaborative federalism. By trivializing the violation of immigration laws, legitimating disrespect for federal authority, and encouraging general lawlessness, they simply invite more criminal behavior. Every crime committed by an illegal alien is, by definition, a preventable crime. The supporters of the sanctuary movement are all too willing to sacrifice the safety and well-being of law-abiding citizens and school girls on the altar of political correctness.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar

    David Olen Cross writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime

    U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons: Criminal Aliens in February 2017

    March 28, 2017

    By David Olen Cross

    One of the detrimental impacts of having a significant foreign national population residing in the United States, be they legally or illegally present in the country, continues to be crime.

    The scope and impact of foreign national crime on the U.S. citizens and residents of this country is clearly revealed by a simple search on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inmates statistics website under the heading of inmate citizenship.

    Here are the countries of origin, moreover, the number and percentage of those countries citizens recently incarcerated in the U.S. BOP prison system (The most recent BOP crime numbers available were from February 25, 2017.).

    Inmate Citizenship:

    – México 26,908 inmates, 14.3 percent;
    – Columbia 1,675 inmates, 0.9 percent;
    – Dominican Republic 1,582 inmates, 0.8 percent;
    – Cuba 1,248 inmates, 0.7 percent;
    – Other / unknown countries 9,670 inmates, 5.1 percent;
    – United States 147,651 inmates, 78.2 percent;

    Total Inmates 188,734 inmates.

    To clarify the meaning of these preceding criminal alien inmate numbers and percentages, I will translate them into words:

    Combining February 28th BOP criminal alien inmate numbers, there were 41,083 criminal aliens in the BOP prison system. Alien inmates were 21.8 percent of the federal prison population; more than two in every ten prisoners were criminal aliens.

    With 26,908 Mexican nationals being incarcerated in the BOP prison system, at 65.5 percent, they were the vast majority of criminal aliens in federal prisons.

    The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons breaks down the federal prison population into 13 types of offenses. One of the top five offenses, the reason BOP inmates were incarcerated in federal prisons, continues to be for immigration crimes. There were 14,906 inmates in the BOP prison system incarcerated for immigration crimes; they were 8.4 percent of the federal prison population.

    A significant fact, eventually the majority of these criminal aliens from México, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Cuba and other countries will be released from the BOP prison system after completing their prison terms.

    United States citizens should, if they haven’t already, contact President Donald J. Trump and their members of Congress (two Senators and one Representative) and ask them to make sure the executive and legislative branches of our government work together to supply the resources U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) need to make sure that criminal aliens once they are released from the BOP prison system are removed and prevented from returning to our country.

    David Olen Cross of Salem, Oregon writes on immigration issues and foreign national crime. He is a weekly guest on the Lars Larson Northwest Show. He can be reached at [email protected] or at

  2. avatar

    Thank God Trump is Tracking IA Serious Crimes

    Separate from the open border liars. We are a the brink of collapse due to debt, a horrifying subpar health care system called Obamacare, and now terrorism and IA rapes, etc….

    The establishment Shadow Government open border Progressives and establishment Rinos have secretly destroyed both Medicaid for the disabled elderly American citizens….and even Medicare is a complete joke, the doctors and hospitals are going bankrupt if they accept the low coverage limits on actual costs [Medicare only covers about 1/2, ask the AMA]. You can’t hardly get a doctor on Medicare anymore, Medicaid is a COMPLETE JOKE now!

    God forbid we tell the Americans the real truth and TERRIFY them…