This probably isn’t the best day to bring up a story like this, coming only 24 hours after government leaders in Maryland seemed to be unclear as to whether or not they had a plan to combat gang violence. But as it turns out, there was at least one law enforcement group which not only had a plan, but had been busy implementing it for more than a year. In Harford County, slightly to the northeast of Baltimore, the County Sheriff’s department has been identifying residents of their jail who turned out to be in the country illegally.

Comparing those records with the criminal profiles of the illegal aliens, they were able to identify a number of them who were involved in gang activity, including at least four who were members of MS-13, one of the most violent gangs operating in the nation. Sounds to me like a sheriff’s department that was taking a bite out of crime. (CBS Baltimore)

It’s one year into a controversial immigration program, and Harford County says it’s flagged dozens of people for possible deportation. The sheriff calls it a success, despite concerns from immigration advocates.

The more than 40 people facing possible deportation were flagged by deputies as they came into the county jail.

Harford county correctional deputies are not only scanning arrestees’ criminal backgrounds, but also their immigration status.

Out of 144 screenings, 40 were found to be illegal aliens with many of them being flagged as gang members. As mentioned above, four of them were with the notorious MS-13 gang. So we should be happy to see them on their way out of the country, right?

Surprisingly, not everyone was.

Neighborhoods where CASA’s director Elizabeth Alex warned that programs like this could breed mistrust in the police.

There’s sort of this extra fear that immigrants will go further into the shadows and not participate,” Alex said back when the program launched.

Sheriff Sahler says if you don’t break the law, there’s nothing to worry about.

“As sheriff, I don’t want to return criminals to our community to further victimize the citizens of Harford County,” he said.

Seriously? It may be time for some sort of sanity check, not just in this single Maryland county, but in all the cities where gang violence is ripping apart the fabric of civil society. We’re not talking about illegal aliens who may be working jobs off the books or engaging in identity theft here. These are gang members, including MS-13. Whether they are citizens or illegal aliens, they’re a scourge on our society and responsible for everything from drug distribution networks and illegal gun trafficking to flat-out murder.

If you have the opportunity to turn them over to ICE and get them out of our country, how would any sane individual not jump at the chance? If your concern is that other illegal aliens might be driven “further into the shadows” and not “participate” in law enforcement efforts, your priorities have become extremely skewed. There’s a war going on out in the streets of too many of our cities and law-abiding citizens are all too often losing that war and winding up as collateral damage.

If decent people want to take back control of their own communities they have to jointly decide that enough is enough. If you keep electing officials who refuse to make the hard decisions and actually take on the bad guys, nothing is going to save you. Sheriff Sahler should have been getting a medal for the work he was doing, but he’s instead the target of criticism. We’re living in Bizarro World at this point.