A Maryland county that offers illegal immigrants sanctuary keeps releasing dangerous criminals from jail to shield them from federal authorities, most recently a man from El Salvador who raped a seven-year-old girl multiple times. Rather than honor a detainer issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), officials in Montgomery County freed the child rapist on bond recently and he remains at large. Court documents obtained by a local media outlet say the 56-year-old, Rene Ramos-Hernandez, who reportedly lives illegally in Brentwood “forced unwanted sexual intercourse” with the girl “at least ten times.”
In a statement issued this week, ICE blasts Montgomery County officials for protecting illegal aliens who commit state crimes. “Montgomery County continues the practice of not honoring lawful ICE detainers and release potential public safety threats back into the community,” said acting Baltimore Field Office Director Francisco Madrigal. “When they refuse to give adequate notification of an impending release to allow a safe transfer of custody, it shows their actions are insincere. ICE believes the best way to protect public safety is for law enforcement to work together.” The agency’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) lodged a detainer with the Montgomery County Detention Center on June 19 and authorities blew it off, instead discharging Ramos-Hernandez on June 23. ICE was notified that the illegal immigrant rapist was let go, but officers at the Montgomery County jail refused to hold Ramos-Hernandez until ERO officers arrived at the facility, according to the agency.
Ramos-Hernandez has lived in the U.S. illegally for years. In fact, the rapes occurred from 2002 to 2003, when he was in his late 30s and the girl was just seven. The victim reported the crimes to Montgomery County Police in 2017 and it took almost two years for local authorities to track down the illegal alien. On June 18 he was booked at the Montgomery County Detention Center (MCDC) in Rockville on two counts of second-degree rape and one count of sexual abuse of a minor. The next day ICE lodged the detainer. A Montgomery County judge granted Ramos-Hernandez a $30,000 bond and now the feds cannot find him even though bail conditions include electronic monitoring and curfew. Ramos-Hernandez was also ordered to have no contact with minors, which is a joke considering authorities do not even know where he is. He provided the court with a Brentwood address and claims to work as a “remodeler,” according to court records cited in the news story. He faces up to 70 years in prison if authorities ever find him.
This case is part of a national crisis generated by local governments around the country that offer violent illegal immigrants sanctuary. Under a local-federal partnership known as 287(g), ICE is notified of jail inmates in the country illegally so that they can be deported after serving time for state crimes or making bail like Ramos-Hernandez. Unfortunately, a growing number of city and county law enforcement agencies are instead releasing the illegal aliens—many with serious convictions such as child sex offenses, rape and murder—rather than turn them over to federal authorities for removal. The lack of cooperation has led ICE to resort to desperate measures, like striking preemptively by publicly disclosing convicts, complete with mug shots, scheduled to be released before they are actually let go by police in municipalities that offer illegal aliens sanctuary. A few months ago, ICE targeted six offenders incarcerated in two Maryland counties—Montgomery and Prince George’s—notorious for shielding illegal immigrants from the feds. Most were incarcerated for sexual crimes involving children, including rape and serious physical abuse that resulted in death. A couple of the offenders were jailed for murder and assault.
Besides Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, two other large Maryland jurisdictions—Baltimore County and the city of Baltimore—shield illegal immigrants from the feds and deportation. Maryland’s Attorney General, the state’s chief law enforcement official, issued a legal memo in late 2018 defending the practice. Complying with ICE detainers for criminal illegal aliens is voluntary, the Attorney General writes in the document, and state and local law enforcement officials are potentially exposed to liability if they hold someone beyond the release date determined by state law. In 2017, Baltimore’s Chief Deputy State’s Attorney instructed prosecutors to think twice before charging illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes to shield them from Trump administration deportation efforts. This summer Montgomery County took an extra step to help illegal immigrants by launching a $10 million COVID-19 relief fund. Judicial Watch sued on behalf of two county residents and a federal court ruled that the payments likely violate federal law and irreparably harm county taxpayers.