A Message from The Daily Meal
Three Maryland counties released undocumented immigrants last month despite requests from federal authorities to keep them in jail, according to a report Monday that is a result of one of President Donald Trump‘s first executive orders.
One of the Maryland jurisdictions cited in the report — Montgomery County — swiftly disputed the report’s findings.
The Department of Homeland Security report, which found that 206 requests to hold immigrants in the country illegally were declined nationwide, is among the first steps the Trump administration is taking to crack down on so-called “sanctuary cities.” The report is part of an effort to pressure local officials into changing their policies.
At issue is how cities and counties handle inmates who are in the country illegally and when they are supposed to be released from jail. Hundreds of jurisdictions in Maryland and across the country have said they will not hold immigrants beyond their scheduled release if federal agents make that request — known as a detainer — unless it is accompanied by a warrant.
During a one-week period ending Feb. 3, the report found the Baltimore County Department of Corrections released an immigrant who had been charged with drug trafficking. The report said that Montgomery and Prince George’s counties released immigrants that had been charged with assaults.
Neither the names of the immigrants, nor specifics about their alleged criminal activity, were released.
A spokesman for Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, a Democrat, said the county searched its records for the date on which DHS said the hold request had been issued as well as the date they said an immigrant with a detainer had been released, and found no record of either occurrence.
“The report isn’t accurate,” said the spokesman, Patrick Lacefield.
Officials at the Department of Homeland Security did not respond to questions about the Montgomery County case.
A spokeswoman for Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the Prince George’s County Department of Corrections did not respond to a request for comment.