Judicial Watch • Montgomery Sanctuary Policy Leads To Youth’s Murder

Montgomery Sanctuary Policy Leads To Youth’s Murder

Montgomery Sanctuary Policy Leads To Youth’s Murder

NOVEMBER 11, 2008

For the second time in a year police in a Maryland county that offers illegal immigrants sanctuary arrested and released a violent gang banger who went on to commit an atrocious crime, including the brutal murder of a teenage honor student over the weekend.  

Both tragic cases involve members of the notoriously violent MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha gang whose crimes sprees were enabled by the don’t-ask-don’t tell immigration policy of police in the affluent Maryland county of Montgomery, a notorious haven for illegal immigrants. 

Over the weekend a recently arrested MS-13 gang member shot a 14-year-old high school student (Tai Lam) to death on a crowded public bus. Two other teenagers, ages 14 and 15, were also wounded in the violent attack. The triggerman was a 20-year-old illegal immigrant (Hector Hernandez) from El Salvador who had been arrested by Montgomery County Police a few weeks ago for concealing a dangerous weapon.  

The same police department released a separate MS-13 gang member last summer after arresting him on assault charges. A few weeks later that illegal immigrant, also from El Salvador, nearly stabbed a Gaithersburg man to death. He was eventually caught by the Prince William County Police Department, which has a policy of checking the immigration status of arrestees.  

Maryland law does not require county and city governments to assist federal authorities with immigration enforcement and several municipalities offer illegal aliens sanctuary. The problem is so widespread that legislation was proposed earlier this year to withhold state aid from local governments with sanctuary policies that prohibit employers and police officers from asking someone’s immigration status. In an effort to protect its sanctuary status, Montgomery County officials submitted testimony against the bill. 

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