The Montgomery County Republican Party has denounced an executive order prohibiting local officials from cooperating with federal immigration raids or investigations.
In a statement released Tuesday, the group said the order from County Executive Marc Elrich (D) makes the jurisdiction “less safe.”
“Elrich’s political stunt is all about opposing a President he hates, even at the risk of the safety of Montgomery County residents,” party chairman Alexander Bush is quoted as saying.
The Promoting Community Trust Executive Order, signed into effect Monday, prohibits all executive-branch departments in Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction from assisting federal agents in civil immigration investigations. This includes not allowing agents to access nonpublic spaces in government buildings unless they have a court order or criminal warrant.
While local law enforcement and various government departments in the liberal suburb already had internal policies preventing employees from cooperating with immigration raids, Elrich’s order formalized these rules.
According to advocates, it was the strongest action taken in support of undocumented immigrants in the Washington region.
“ICE has made clear that their enforcement operations are prioritized to focus on criminals, not peaceful undocumented individuals,” the GOP statement said. “So long as enforcement does not include targeted courthouse arrests of crime victims, a policy of cooperation will only make Montgomery County safer.”
In fact, the Trump administration has said Immigration and Customs Enforcement will target any undocumented immigrant, not just those with criminal records or suspected of committing crimes. The White House recently vowed to round up and deport “millions” of undocumented immigrants, although ICE said Tuesday that only a few dozen were picked up.
On Monday, the administration announced a new fast-track deportation system that will bypass immigration judges.