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Judicial Watch • County’s Sanctuary Changes A Joke

County’s Sanctuary Changes A Joke

County’s Sanctuary Changes A Joke

APRIL 23, 2009

Changes to a Maryland county’s long-standing sanctuary policy are worthless since criminal illegal immigrants are still freed and able to commit atrocious crimes against children.

A series of high-profile murders pushed officials in the affluent Maryland county of Montgomery to alter their longtime policy of not reporting arrested illegal immigrants to federal authorities this year. It turns out however, that the so-called changes don’t go far enough to protect citizens. Instead, they continue to shield violent illegal immigrants.  

A local newspaper reports that an illegal alien, on the run after raping an 8-year-old girl, would not have been reported to federal authorities after his first arrest in Montgomery County—even under the new measure—because the crime wasn’t serious enough. The child rapist, a Honduran named Marcos Banegas, had been arrested for assault in Montgomery County about a year ago. 

Despite his legal status, he was not reported to immigration officials and instead was released under Montgomery’s sanctuary laws. Banegas went on to rape a Woodbridge girl and has been charged with forcible sodomy and aggravated sexual battery by Prince William County police, which reports illegal immigrants to the feds. Banegas has been on the run since mid February. 

Montgomery County’s “tougher” immigration policy, enacted earlier this year, would not have made a difference in this case. That’s because an assault charge isn’t considered violent enough for Montgomery officials to contact federal authorities, according to County Executive Ike Leggett. 

The county’s sanctuary policy came under fire last year when illegal immigrants with criminal histories committed four murders, including that of a high school honor student and an elderly woman. All of the murderers had been previously arrested and released by police in cities that offer illegal aliens sanctuary. At least two of them were freed by authorities in Montgomery County, which has a police department that practices a don’t-ask-don’t-tell immigration policy.

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