Baltimore has been coined the deadliest big city in the U.S. and instead of trying to combat that image, the city is now hiring immigration attorneys to help illegal aliens who have been charged with non-violent crimes to get those charges removed, reports Judicial Watch.
A city panel approved spending $200,000 this month to pay for lawyers to represent illegal aliens with deportation orders. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh says in a local news report that the goal is for everyone to get due process.
“We’re not making a decision as to their status, we’re making the decision to be supportive of individuals who live in our city,” according to the mayor.
Illegal immigrants are not offered by the government free lawyers for those who cannot afford their own, so if the illegal alien cannot afford to hire their own attorney they mostly have to rely on volunteer attorneys or paralegals from immigrant rights groups to help them through criminal proceedings. This leaves many illegal aliens in removal proceedings without adequate legal representation.
Under the Obama administration, they began to use taxpayer dollars to assist illegal aliens in deportation proceedings. In 2015, the former president allocated $2 million to hire attorneys to represent the influx of illegal alien minors in federal immigration proceedings.
The money flowed through a special program, Justice AmeriCorps, launched by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
Liberal American cities have taken matters into their own hands after hearing the Trump administration’s immigration policy reforms, by creating sanctuary cities that prioritize the safety and well-being of illegal immigrants rather than the legal citizens living there.
These sanctuary cities have created local funds to help illegal aliens facing deportation. Chicago’s City Council led the way by approving a $1.3 million legal defense fund and the city of Los Angeles followed with a $10 million fund to help illegal immigrants dodge justice. Shortly after the city announced its special immigrant legal project, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors offered to kick in another $3 million to provide more lawyers, reports Judicial Watch.
The only L.A. County Supervisor who voted against the fund said it’s irresponsible to allocate taxpayer money for such a program. In the city’s case, the city attorney, whose office prosecutes crimes and represents L.A. in litigation, said the money will ensure that there is “more fairness and more effectiveness in the immigration system,” which, of course, is a federal and not a state matter.
Baltimore took it a step further by also creating a policy to go easy on alien criminals in state cases to avert collateral immigration consequences. An internal memo issued by Baltimore’s Chief Deputy State’s Attorney in mid-2017 instructs prosecutors to think twice before charging illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes.
The chief deputy, Michael Schatzow, writes in the memo that the Trump administration’s deportation efforts “have increased the potential collateral consequences to certain immigrants of minor, non-violent criminal conduct.”
Schatzow is second-in-command to Baltimore’s top prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, and oversees major crimes at the state agency. “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 to his staff.
Besides Baltimore, two Maryland counties, Montgomery and Prince George’s, offer illegal immigrants sanctuary.
When the Trump administration announced it would enforce immigration laws, Baltimore Mayor Pugh reiterated that police and other public agencies in her city never ask about immigration status. “We are a welcoming city,” the mayor said in a local news report. “We want everyone here. We want to be able to provide opportunities and jobs and careers for folks. That’s where we are in Baltimore.”
It’s sad that American cities can’t be more welcoming to the legal citizens who live there and use their hard-earned taxpayer money to improve their lives instead of helping those who knowingly break the law.