What a travesty. And once again it’s a tale out of Baltimore, Maryland. It’s the story of a president cracking down on illegal immigrants. It includes a Secretary of Homeland Security with a dubious program intended to allow ICE to cooperate with local law enforcement and hold detained illegal aliens for possible deportation. It’s the story of a bold state governor who was willing to stand up to these racist policies and refuse to comply. You all know who we’re talking about.
The year is 2014. The President is Barack Obama. The Homeland Security chief is Jeh Johnson. And the governor is Democrat Martin O’Malley. The DHS program is called “Secure Communities” and it can affect funding for municipal and state governments. Is anyone getting a headache which feels like you were sitting too close to the flux capacitor for the past few months?
It’s all true, though. From April 18, 2014, a report in the Washington Post described the first shot that O’Malley sent across Obama’s bow.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) announced Friday that a state-run jail in Baltimore will no longer automatically comply with requests from the federal government to hold immigrants beyond their normal release date for possible deportation.
The new policy at the Baltimore City Detention Center is intended to cut the number of immigrants who have no criminal records being deported as part of a program called “Secure Communities.” The jail will now consider the severity of the charges in reviewing requests from the U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement to hold immigrants, the governor said.
Later that same year, on August 29th, O’Malley went one step further and instructed the city jail in Baltimore to stop honoring detainer requests.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has instructed a state-run jail in Baltimore to stop honoring federal requests to detain inmates beyond their scheduled release dates in order to explore potential immigration violations, unless there is probable cause that those who are being held have broken the law.
The new policy followed an opinion by the Maryland attorney general’s office that such detentions in local and state-run jails could be unconstitutional, in light of recent federal court rulings.
In August of 2015, O’Malley was gone and new Republican Governor Larry Hogan actually came out and said he would honor detainer requests, but since then has waffled back and forth on the issue a couple of times. That’s led to all of the recent confusion about who is in charge of Baltimore’s jails and whether or not they would qualify for participation in new federal programs to assist them with law enforcement. Of course this time around every Democrat in Maryland’s congressional delegation from the Baltimore area has gone on the record saying the demands from President Trump and the Attorney General are “unconscionable.”
Unconscionable indeed. Some might argue that, if nothing else, Baltimore is being consistent and responding in the same fashion to two different administrations. Fair enough. But I do have one question for you. Where were all of the outraged howls of media and congressional protest we’re seeing non-stop today back in 2014 and 2015 when Barack Obama and Jeh Johnson were doing the exact same thing? Who was giving the press conferences to back up O’Malley then? And while we’re at it, that media coverage of the “scandal” in the Washington Post I quoted above was pretty low key, wasn’t it? Where are all the charges of racism and cruelty against the president? Where were the marches in the street and the demands to #RESIST OBAMA?
Hrmmm… something seems different these days. I just can’t place my finger on what it is.