In testimony before Congress Tuesday, a Maryland sheriff said amnesty for minors has led to increased gang crime and warned that without a secure border every county will be a “border county.”
“Open borders, reckless sanctuary policies, and failure to enforce our immigration laws have greatly impacted public safety and national security throughout every jurisdiction of this country. Every single day, more Americans are becoming victims of senseless crimes, being injured and killed by criminal aliens, many are transnational gang members,” said Sheriff Charles Jenkins of Frederick County, Md.
Frederick County is about 40 miles from Washington, D.C. Jenkins said that his cooperation with Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) through the Department of Homeland Security’s 287(g) has helped rid his county of many illegal aliens.
“We have very effectively built a wall around Frederick County, given the fact that most surrounding jurisdictions do nothing or very little to cooperate with ICE,” Jenkins testified before the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.
287(g) is a program that allows local police organizations to enforce federal immigration laws, though Jenkins claims that the Obama administration has gutted this program.
The sheriff said, “Since 2008, this Administration has weakened immigration enforcement by dismissing deportation cases, rescinding 287g agreements, encouraging sanctuary policies, and watering down detainer policies.”
“Case by case amnesty, back door amnesty, DACA programs, and the Dream Act were pushed through by executive order,” Jenkins said. He added, “In effect, criminal aliens that should have been deported have been allowed to remain and commit more serious crimes becoming violent offenders.”
Despite his efforts with ICE to deport illegal immigrants in his county, he has still experienced an increase in the presence of international Latin gangs such as MS-13 and 18th Street.
“The criminal alien gang numbers are growing, and the serious crimes being committed are increasing,” he testified. “There is also a nexus between the deferred action on unaccompanied minors and the increases we are seeing in gang crimes.”
Both MS-13 and 18th Street are recruiting in schools in his county and at one high school the two alien gangs break out into fights frequently. In 2015, 64 percent of the criminal alien gang members his sheriff’s department encountered entered the U.S as unaccompanied minors.
“Now they are adults committing serious felonies,” Jenkins said. In 2014, 8 illegal aliens were charged with the rape of girls aged 5 to 14, two of whom were impregnated.
The sheriff warned, “It is my belief that if this Congress and the next President do not take action to close and secure the border with Mexico and simply enforce the federal immigration laws that exist, every county in America will become a border county.”