Testimony on Three Sanctuary Bills During General Assembly Hearing
By Brigitta Mullican
On March 13, the Maryland General Assembly House Judiciary Committee held hearings on three sanctuary bills:
1) HB 1461, “Criminal Procedure – Immigration - Supporting All Families Everywhere (the so-called SAFE Act)” sponsored by Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, et al; which we vehemently opposed,
And two measures both of which we supported:
2) HB 1549, “Sanctuary Laws” for Illegal Aliens – Prohibition” sponsored by Delegates Adams W. Miller, et al, and
3) HB 1308 “Undocumented Immigrants – Transfer to US Department of Homeland Security” sponsored by Delegate Kathy Szeliga et al.
These three bills deal with how law enforcement will handle undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes. A total of 46 individuals testified on the SAFE Act in order to oppose any sanctuary policies that would allow illegal aliens with criminal records to be protected from being transferred to the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement.
Maureen Maloney from Milford, Massachusetts testified against HB 1461 by sharing her tragic story of her son Matthew Denice. She is one of many family members who was robbed of a loved one by an illegal alien. She will never again see her son. His killer was illegally in the U.S. and deported many times. Sanctuary policies allow this to happen.
We have enough crime without needlessly adding to intentionally sloppy enforcement of our immigration laws which allow more illegal aliens into the U.S. The illegal alien crime statistics are rising. It is a disgrace that deported criminals return over and over. Our judicial system puts them back into our community to commit more crimes.
Why aren’t our own citizens being protected? Why can’t our law enforcement officers cooperate with our Federal immigration agencies when dealing with immigration issues? Our group believes that legislators’ responsibilities should be first and foremost to the American people. We are not anti-immigration, but we do support legal immigration. Most of us who testified at the Judiciary Committee hearing were either legal immigrants or children or grandchildren of legal immigrants.
In addition to the 46 testimonies, the committee members were given a petition with 5,000 signatures stating that “We citizens of Maryland demand that our local legislators vote down and repeal any legislation that attempts to make our state into a ‘Sanctuary’ for illegals.”