It's official: Baltimore is now America's "amnesty city." President Barack Obama and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake have teamed up to violate the law and bypass Congress by imposing executive amnesty with troubling consequences for the citizens of Charm City. There is no question that this policy is designed to gut the Secure Communities Act as well as other federal enforcement policies designed to keep citizens safe.
This past summer, President Obama issued an executive order that limits the enforcement of federal immigration law. The Obama edict mandates that law enforcement officials at the federal level only arrest, detain and deport illegal aliens classified as criminals. In other words, illegal aliens who commit serious crimes like rape, murder, drug dealing and other Level I infractions would be the only ones prosecuted. This policy orders federal agents to ignore 90 percent of the illegal aliens in America. Failure to prosecute all illegal aliens in the country is, without question, "amnesty."
Many members of Congress, including the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Texas Republican Lamar Smith, maintain that the president does not have the authority to selectively enforce federal law. Mr. Obama's critics believe he is violating the Constitution and his oath of office. Chairman Smith and others are scheduling hearings on the issue that could become very serious. Meanwhile, Baltimore becomes an experiment forcing all Maryland citizens to be potential victims of illegal aliens.
President Obama has intensified his questionable executive order by selecting two cities, Baltimore and Denver, to carry out his troubling policies. Mayor Rawlings-Blake has gleefully jumped on the bandwagon. Of course, the mayor had already turned Baltimore into a "sanctuary city" by issuing a written policy ordering the police department to look the other way regarding illegal aliens. Apparently, pandering politics trumps public safety in our state's largest city.
Even before this amnesty experiment took effect last week, Maryland had already become a Disneyland for illegal aliens by providing a variety of benefits, attractions and free rides. Drivers' licenses, in-state tuition, and a giant welcome mat by Gov. Martin O'Malley (remember that "new Americans" comment?) and his liberal political cronies have resulted in an increase in the number of illegal immigrants in Maryland. The population of illegal aliens in our state has escalated in a decade from 100,000 to as many as 400,000 by some estimates. This powerful new magnet of amnesty will generate even larger numbers.
The victims of the president's, mayor's and governor's mistake will be the citizens of Baltimore City and surrounding areas. It is human nature that people go where they are wanted. Baltimore's minority youth unemployment rate is more than 50 percent, while illegal alien workers are displacing Americans in the workforce. The cost of Spanish-speaking teachers and the influx of more children into the K-12 system affects the budget. Emergency room and other hospital care services are already under pressure from illegal aliens. I have been told that dangerous, illegal alien gangs like MS-13 are growing in Baltimore.
Why is the mayor imposing this burden upon the people? She believes the illegal alien agenda is equal to the civil-rights movement, but the only violations of rights being committed are the unnecessary burdens forced upon Baltimore's citizens.
I have pre-filed legislation that would withhold state funds from any subdivision (like Baltimore City) that fails to enforce the federal Immigration Act. Most importantly, I am exploring the possibility of a lawsuit designed to prevent this reckless policy from being implemented before it causes irreparable harm.
It is hard to believe that politicians continue to promote policies that benefit illegal aliens after the voters of Maryland demonstrated their outrage against the in-state tuition discount called the "Dream Act." More than 130,000 citizens of all parties and races signed the petition in a short 60-day period. After an impressive demonstration of citizens' grass-roots power, you would think that the president, governor and mayor would have received the message loud and clear. Apparently, they are deaf or don't care.
Del. Pat McDonough, a Republican, represents Baltimore and Harford counties. His e-mail is email@example.com.