Maryland County Could Force Taxpayers to Fund Illegal Alien Defense

The Montgomery County Council in Maryland introduced a proposal in April to spend almost $400,000 of the county’s taxpayer money on lawyers to represent alien residents of the county who are facing deportation. These funds would be available both to those lawfully present and to illegal aliens.

Montgomery County already has an extensive history of violent crime committed by illegal aliens: In November of last year, MS-13 members in Montgomery County decapitated a man and cut out his heart. This was after they already stabbed the victim over a 100 times. At least two of the perpetrators were in the United States illegally. More recently, MS-13 members brutally beat a 15-year-old girl with a bat. Yervin Josue Romero-Rivera, one of the men who beat the girl, was confirmed to be an illegal alien.

And this misguided proposal could use taxpayer money to defend foreign criminals who are unlawfully present in the United States. If passed, the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (CAIR) would be paid by the County Council to defend alien residents in removal proceedings before the U.S. Immigration Court.  CAIR prides itself on being the only nonprofit in the D.C. area that exclusively defends and lobbies for detained illegal aliens.

Maryland is already spending billions of dollars on illegal aliens each year. In a 2017 study, the Federation for American Immigration Reform found that Maryland is home to about 376,000 illegal aliens and their U.S.-born children. Illegal alien households already cost Maryland taxpayers $2.38 billion, according to FAIR. What the County Council is proposing will increase that burden even more.

So why spend more money on illegal alien criminals? The funds in question could be spent training unskilled Montgomery County residents for paying jobs or giving 20 deserving high school students a full ride to college. But, instead, County Council members want to spend limited funds trying to keep illegal aliens in the United States – even the ones who have committed crimes.

Ironically, the proposal isn’t popular with immigrants who came to the United States in compliance with our laws. “This special appropriation is against American values of fairness,” said Wei Wang, who immigrated to the United States lawfully, according to The Washington Post. “It is not fair for legal immigrants who respect U.S. immigration laws.”

Wang was one of the residents at a Montgomery County Council hearing last week who spoke out against the proposal. Even the open-borders-leaning Washington Post claimed that about half of those residents were against taxpayer money being spent in this fashion.

The Montgomery County Council didn’t just start favoring illegal aliens recently. Montgomery County has been a sanctuary county since 2014, so the county government has been obstructing immigration enforcement for several years now. In 2016, the council took the additional step of passing a resolution that sought to prohibit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from lawfully exercising federal authority within Montgomery County. In actuality, a county has no authority to regulate the actions of a federal law enforcement agency – but the county seemed determined to engage in pointless acts of virtue signaling.

It’s bad enough that sanctuary policies interfere with ICE’s efforts to protect the American public. Paying for lawyers to represent alien criminals in Immigration Court proceedings is just adding insult to injury. The residents of Montgomery County should tell their legislators that it’s time to put Americans first and stop enabling illegal alien criminals.


About Author


Casey joined FAIR in 2018. He assists the research team with projects and writes for FAIR’S website. He previously spent a year working in journalism in Washington, D.C. He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a B.A. in Journalism in 2017.


  1. avatar

    Plenty of undocumented immigrants pay taxes but aren’t eligible for government services that U.S. citizens are. It seems fair to use some tax dollars to support access to a lawyer so that those who’d be eligible for legal status (which many actually are) can stay and continue living their lives. I’d rather have this than my tax dollars jailing someone who’d otherwise be out working and contributing to society.

  2. avatar

    John McCain is saying that Republicans taking a hard line on immigration enforcement are on the “wrong side” of the issue. First of all, McCain is as dishonest a con man as they come. When he had primary opponents in 2010 and 2016 he ran ads, paid for by all the business PACS who support him, about how tough he was on enforcement, including finishing the border fence. Then when he was reelected both times he immediately went back to his amnesty beliefs, essentially mirroring Chuck Schumer’s position of a total amnesty and huge increases in legal immigration.

    Second, if it’s a “hard line” not to reward lawbreakers with American citizenship, then more people need to be hard line. McCain, Lindsey Graham and others are always offered by the press as the reasonable mainstream GOP alternative to Trump when their views are anathema to most GOP voters. McCain is a fraud.

  3. avatar

    Do we know the law? Do politicians know right from wrong? Illegal means not legal? Do you want votes from illegals, hope you don’t get them. You won’ t get mine and many American citizens either. Spend your own money if you think AMERICA can afford more than its own country? Why can’t we help our own Veterans and more? If a person from the public helped any convict it would be illegal , yet politicians think it’s okay. Please tell me how this is right.