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Baltimore: Immigration Status “Collateral Consequences” Considered in Prosecuting Crime

Baltimore: Immigration Status “Collateral Consequences” Considered in Prosecuting Crime

Latest in Baltimore’s resistance to Trump’s immigration policies

Baltimore is taking the idea of “sanctuary cities” to the next level in its ongoing “resistance” to President Trump’s policy of enforcing our nation’s immigration laws.

The mayor has insisted that Baltimore is a “welcoming” rather than a “sanctuary” city, and earlier this month, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz signed an executive order regarding illegal immigrants.

The Washington Post reported at the time:

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz signed an order Wednesday prohibiting county law enforcement from inquiring about the immigration status of anyone they encounter.

The order also says police and sheriff’s deputies cannot hold detainees past their release dates at the request of federal deportation agents, unless those agents have presented a judicial order.

“We do this because it promotes sound police practices,” Kamenetz (D) said at a news conference. “We want to continue to maintain the community trust among the residents we are obligated to protect. Driving people underground makes us less safe.”

The executive order broadly prohibits discriminating against people or withholding benefits based on their immigration status. It also limits police cooperation with federal authorities “except in the case of a criminal warrant signed by a judicial official.”

Kamentz directly stated that this move was a response to President Trump.


The latest maneuver is a memo to prosecutors in which Baltimore’s State’s Attorney’s Office posits that prosecutions for “minor, nonviolent criminal cases” should be based not solely on the law but on the impact of that prosecution on “victim, witnesses, and the defendant” in terms of their immigration status.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office has instructed prosecutors to think twice before charging illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes in response to stepped up immigration enforcement by the Trump administration.

Chief Deputy State’s Attorney Michael Schatzow, in a memo sent to all staff Thursday and obtained by The Baltimore Sun, wrote that the Justice Department’s deportation efforts “have increased the potential collateral consequences to certain immigrants of minor, non-violent criminal conduct.”

“In considering the appropriate disposition of a minor, non-violent criminal case, please be certain to consider those potential consequences to the victim, witnesses, and the defendant,” Schatzow wrote.

How does that work?  If an illegal alien commits a nonviolent crime and prosecuting the case will lead to the possible deportation of a witness or perhaps of a witness’ parents, the case would not be prosecuted?

Considering the immigration status not only of the person who committed the crime but of the victim or of any witnesses (and their families?) could lead to serious problems and a host of unintentional consequences.

The directive is supported by CASA de Maryland, a radical pro-illegal alien group, whose regional director champions this as reasonable use of prosecutorial discretion.

The Baltimore Sun continues:

. . . . Elizabeth Alex, a Baltimore regional director for CASA de Maryland, said immigrants and their relatives are afraid to engage in the court process, and Baltimore prosecutors are right to include immigration status as part of their consideration in how to handle a case.

“Prosecutorial discretion exists in all kinds of cases, and it’s more education to [prosecutors] about the multiple factors that they should take into consideration as they proceed,” she said. “The consequences are different today than they were a year ago.”

The Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland’s only Republican House member said of the Baltimore memo:

U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, the lone Republican in Maryland’s congressional delegation, said it is “a real shame that the State Attorney’s office is unwilling to enforce the law against illegal aliens who commit crimes in the United States.”

“A vast majority of Americans believe that illegal aliens who commit crimes while here in the U.S. should bear the full brunt of the law, and be deported,” Harris said through a spokesperson.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the Baltimore memo.

While the DOJ has not commented on this specific  memo, AG Jeff Sessions spoke about a similar situation.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the Baltimore memo. But in remarks Friday on Long Island, Sessions decried district attorneys who he said “openly brag about not charging cases appropriately – giving special treatment to illegal aliens to ensure these criminal aliens aren’t deported from their communities.

“They advertise that they will charge a criminal alien with a lesser offense than presumably they would charge a United States citizen. It baffles me,” Sessions said.

The comments appeared to be in response to the acting district attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., who earlier this week issued similar instruction to prosecutors there. “We must ensure that a conviction, especially for a minor offense, does not lead to unintended and severe consequences like deportation, which can be unfair, tear families apart and destabilize our communities and businesses,” Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in an announcement Monday.

In January, AG Sessions mentioned Maryland specifically in terms of the Trump administration’s crackdown on sanctuary cities.

The City Paper reported at the time:

U. S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today he will withhold federal funds from cities and states that do not certify that they are not “sanctuary” jurisdictions. At stake is more than $4 billion in federal aid to law enforcement. 

“Countless Americans would be alive today,” Sessions told reporters in a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room, “if these policies of sanctuary cities were ended.”

Sessions addressed Maryland directly, saying a legislative effort to make a sanctuary state “would be such a mistake.”

For its part, Baltimore insists it’s not a sanctuary city because it gave control of its detention facilities to the state; because of this, the mayor refers to Baltimore as a “welcoming” city.



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So if I were to get arrested for a non violent offence in Baltimore, I should make believe I’m an illegal alien with ten kids and they’ll let me go? Brilliant.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to vinnymeyer. | April 30, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    It goes hand in hand with the idea that an illegal alien can walk into BofA, Wells Fargo, Regions, or many other banks, and with the wave of a Matricula Consular card, can open bank accounts. This s while legal people need to produce several IDs for proof of identification and whether or not you are legal.

    mariner in reply to vinnymeyer. | May 1, 2017 at 4:59 am

    Don’t count on that working if you’re white.

Support for [class] diversity, abortion rites, elective regime changes, and outsourcing/insourcing creates an irreconcilable conflict of interest. How very Pro-Choice.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | April 30, 2017 at 3:25 pm

“Baltimore is a Hell-hole City.”

There fixed it for you mayor and Moronlandians……….

This is great stuff: Baltimore now advises its invaders that they will not be prosecuted for supposedly “minor, non-violent crimes.”
Thus, while the number of those crimes will increase in fact, they will not be prosecuted and therefore the official crime rate will go down, all to the benefit of leftists and their followers, and to the detriment of any working people still in the city.

These are the people who gave rioters the space and freedom to burn their city.

    rabidfox in reply to Valerie. | April 30, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    And now they want the FBI to patrol their city because of the high crime rate.

      Another Voice in reply to rabidfox. | May 1, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      And how is that going to play out?
      A Federal Law Enforcer is not a State, County or City employee and their charge of law enforcement is 180 away from the non-enforcement policy that those entities want to uphold. They do not or should not be there to enforce local laws.

Excellent case for Sessions to begin filing personal felony charges against politicians who openly refuse to enforce the laws of the US. Make it personal. The mayor may not have stated his “response to Trump” in so many words but that is exactly what he is describing. Have him arrested and make it clear that this is just the first of many to come. Get the message out their that elected officials CAN and WILL be arrested, prosecuted and jailed.

Let’s see how the do in court arguing that politicians committing felonies is legal. Maybe they will combine their individual cases into one case and we can put them all in a cage in the middle of the court room.

    Milhouse in reply to Pasadena Phil. | May 1, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Arrested on what grounds? Get this through your thick skull: one of the fundamental freedoms on which this republic is founded is that states have no duty to enforce federal law. If you would have Sessions ride roughshod over that liberty and impose federal tyranny then you are the one who by your own standards ought to be arrested. (The only reason you can’t be is because the first amendment protects your right to advocate criminal behavior, but you deny that too, so in a just world you ought to be estopped from using that defense.)

    Let’s see how the do in court arguing that politicians committing felonies is legal.[…] this collusion among politicians to commit felonies

    Name the felony you allege the politicians are committing. Show how this so-called “felony” doesn’t contradict the first and tenth amendments.

    Just make sure that they can’t use public funds to defend themselves. This is a PERSONAL crime, not just normal politics.

    How so? Even if they could be charged with some felony, which you haven’t specified, in what way could it be argued that the charge was not in their official capacity?

BTW, doesn’t this collusion among politicians to commit felonies constitute racketeering and thus, prosecutable under the RICO laws? Just make sure that they can’t use public funds to defend themselves. This is a PERSONAL crime, not just normal politics. Illinois has more ex-governors in prison than out so this wouldn’t be an abuse of power. Criminals are criminals. You can keep “making a statement” while serving your sentences in prison.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 30, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Same with those university administrations.

    Oh and look, Frenchie froggie Macron is just like the mayor of Baltimore.

    “Meet Emmanuel Macron – The Consummate Banker Puppet, Bizarre Elitist Creation”

    ” This post was inspired by a very telling Financial Times article sent to me by a reader, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

    Most Americans paying attention to global affairs have some conception of his opponent, nationalist firebrand Marine Le Pen, but Macron is likely to be very much a black box. I hope today’s post changes that.

    Any knowledge you may have about Macron probably comes from mainstream news outlets, which have been uniformly gushing about the socialist-centrist Rothschild protege.

    As an example, just take a look at the following title from a January article published at Foreign Policy.

    “”The English-Speaking, German-Loving, French Politician Europe Has Been Waiting For.”

    You’d think this guy was the second coming or something. Naturally, the gushing continues beyond the title. Here are the first few paragraphs….”

Meanwhile cops that shoot criminals in self defense are prosecuted for murder and face life without parole if convicted.

JackRussellTerrierist | April 30, 2017 at 4:45 pm

Well, Baltimore is not exactly a high-end tourist destination in the first place, at least not for decades. If the brain trust in Baltimore wants to drive off what is left of any upstanding, white, middle-class, interest in the place, so be it. Let them lose what’s left of the real taxpayers, regardless of race. The Mosby mind-meld has taken root.

Call it East L.A. with red roof and Poe. ‘uck ’em.

Subotai Bahadur | April 30, 2017 at 5:14 pm

1. This sounds an awful lot like state and local nullification of Federal laws, like South Carolina did in the 1830’s [and was blocked by the threat of Federal troops led by Andrew Jackson coming down and hanging their government] and the lead up to the First American Civil War. History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.

2) We have an awful lot of illegal invaders from Mexico in our state prisons here. About 1/6 of the total population, all convicted of felonies. Time to start shipping them to Baltimore before releasing them. That way they can be welcomed.

    Milhouse in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | May 1, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    They are not nullifying any laws, they are simply expressing their disapproval. They acknowledge the laws’ validity, and the feds’ right to enforce them, but they refuse to assist in that enforcement, which is their absolute constitutional right. The correct analogy is not South Carolina but Pennsylvania. South Carolina had no duty to collect federal tariffs, any more than Pennsylvania had a duty to arrest fugitive slaves; but Pennsylvania didn’t pretend it could arrest federal slave catchers or shoot at them, let alone recruit and arm an army to resist them. No sanctuary city or state is preventing ICE agents from doing their job; ICE agents are free to go wherever they like, and to arrest people without any interference by local authorities. But nor are they getting any help, and that is exactly what the constitution authorizes, and what the northern states did.

      RasMoyag in reply to Milhouse. | May 2, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Good summary, as far as it goes in terms of the relations between local or state and federal law enforcement authorities. But there still remains the issue that the decision of a sanctuary or welcoming city to prosecute a minor offence will apparently depend partly or wholly on immigration status, and not solely on the facts of the matter. Seems to me that the lady with the scales is peeking from behind her eye bandana.

Close The Fed | April 30, 2017 at 6:17 pm

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department asked voters to contact their State Assembly representatives over SB54, which would restrict the ability of such departments to work with ICE.

They listed about 15 illegal aliens and their current & past criminal history, which ICe had picked up in April.

Here’s part of their list:

In the last 30 days ICE detained 50 inmates that were released from our jails.

All but one of the 50 inmates ICE detained had a prior arrest history, current felony charges, or prior deportation orders.

Included here is a sample of the charges of those detained by ICE.
Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility

Inmate 1 Current Arrest – felony domestic violence;
Prior Arrests – drunk driving; stealing a vehicle;
hit and run;
drunk in public;
under the influence of a controlled substance; possession of drugs; possession of drug paraphernalia

Inmate 2 Current Arrest – felony domestic violence;
dissuading a victim from testifying;
obstructing the use of a communication devices to prevent summoning assistance;

Prior Arrests – felony domestic violence (2x);
assault with a deadly weapon;
child endangerment;
illegal entry;
previously deported

Inmate 3 Current Arrest – felony domestic violence;
false imprisonment;
resisting arrest;

-Prior Arrests – sexual battery;
false information to a peace officer;
brandishing a weapon;
false imprisonment;
stealing a vehicle;
illegal entry;
previously deported

Inmate 4 Current Arrest – possession of a controlled substance for sale;
transportation of a controlled substance (2x);
driving on a suspended license;

-Prior Arrests – battery (2x);
drunk in public;
vandalism; transportation,
sales, or distribution of a dangerous drug;
transportation of a controlled substance; drunk driving (2x)

Inmate 5 Current Arrest – felony drunk driving; driving without an ignition interlock device;
driving on a suspended license;

-Prior Arrests – lewd acts with a child under 14;
driving on a suspended drivers’ license (five times);
drunk driving (2x);
unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor

Inmate 6 Current Arrest – assault with a deadly weapon;
attempted kidnapping;

-Prior Arrests – possession of drugs (2x);
possession of drug paraphernalia (3x);
prowling; theft (2x);
false information to a peace officer (2x);
drunk in public;
robbery (3x);
felony domestic violence;
assault with a deadly weapon (3x);
kidnapping (2x)

Inmate 7 Current Arrest – domestic violence;

-Prior Arrests – felony criminal threats (2x);
domestic violence (2x);
child endangerment;
driving without a license;
driving with a suspended license;
possession of drugs;
theft (2x);
possession of stolen property;
false information to a peace officer;
stealing a vehicle;
illegal entry

Baltimore. “Room to destroy.” Nuff said.

Oh, the hypocrisy of it all. Baltimore orders their LEOs not to take note of a person’s immigration status when making contacts or arrests. Then it turns right around and makes it a necessity to inquire as to that very status when considering prosecution for criminal offenses. Inconceivable.

These people are attorneys, and those who aren’t are advised by attorneys. You would think that they would understand that they have a legal obligation to notify a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over a criminal offense, if they have reliable knowledge of such a violation. As prosecutors or elected politicians, they do not enjoy attorney-client privileged. As officers of the court, and under their sworn oath to uphold the laws of the United States, they have a legal obligation to assist federal enforcement efforts. To do otherwise is obstruction or aiding and abetting a criminal act.

It will be interesting to see what happens when local officials are indicted for violating federal law. Popcorn anyone?

    Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | May 1, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    They have no such obligations. On the contrary, the constitution forbids Congress from imposing any such obligations.

And now the new poster child for “welcoming mayors” is asking the FBI for help in getting their violent crime that is “out of control”.

They are about to get their federal police funding eliminated and now he has the gall to ask for FBI assistance? No need mayor, it’s about ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION!!!!

    Milwaukee in reply to Pasadena Phil. | May 1, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Have the perpetrators violated any Federal laws? Well, a creative DOJ can find loads of reasons, say the Ferguson Police Department, has violated Federal laws. But ordinary thugs who are gang-banging, well, that is a local jurisdiction problem. The FBI should definitely not be available.

JusticeDelivered | May 1, 2017 at 10:03 am

Rooting out and deporting ten million illegals is a daunting and very expensive task. There is an alternative, make illegal entry a capital offense, then follow through with a few executions. I suspect that most would willingly rush to cross the border.

    Milhouse in reply to JusticeDelivered. | May 1, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    That would be a blatant violation of the eighth amendment.

      Milwaukee in reply to Milhouse. | May 1, 2017 at 6:11 pm

      Yes. Milhouse you are right about this. That would be excessive.

      My opinion on capital punishment has been evolving. I’m willing to save it for 1. piracy on the high seas and in the air, 2. treason, 3. espionage or sabotage by enemy agents. To the list, 4. violence by illegal enemy combatants, and 5. multiple reentry violent offenders. Major Hassan of Fort Hood cowardice infamy would qualify for 4. Too many others for 5. How many times do we need to deport violent criminals before we say “We are sentencing you to death. However, we will deport you first. Should you ever return, upon being taken into custody, you sentence will be enforced.”?

      Repeated drunken driving convictions should be added to the list. Once or twice drunken driving, without grave bodily injury, we can forgive. Drunken driving 7, 9, 11 times? No. Stay where you came from to do that.

      Milwaukee in reply to Milhouse. | May 1, 2017 at 6:15 pm

      “…excessive.” I should have added immoral.

Michael Johnson | May 1, 2017 at 12:41 pm

“Latest in Baltimore’s resistance to Trump’s immigration policies” is a horrible sub-head. It’s not “Trump’s policies” they are resisting, but enforcement of existing law. It’s the same law that has existed for many years including the previous administration of the “light bearer”.

And from a journalist/marketing standpoint that headline could use some work too.

How about the “Madison” solution? I was once told that Wisconsin had two welfare systems. The generous one in Madison and a bus ticket to Madison. So city fathers up and down the East Coast can by bus tickets to Baltimore.