The brutal rape of a 14-year-old girl at a Maryland high dchool by two Latino suspects last week — at least one of whom was in the country illegally — is causing growing outrage over how school districts deal with illegal aliens.
The attack, which occurred sy Rockville High School in Montgomery County, was perpetrated by 17-year-old Guatemalan Jose Montano and 18-year-old Salvadoran Henry Sanchez — who was being considered for deportation at the time of the attack.
“People are angry, people are nervous, people are concerned,” Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner said Monday morning during a press conference. “I’ve gotten some very ugly emails accusing us of being a sanctuary county.”
“It’s not uncommon for older kids to be placed in the lower high school grades with much younger kids, because they usually have had only a few years of schooling in their home country.”
Berliner, as well as Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, has adamantly denied that Montgomery County is a sanctuary county. Leggett, who said in a written statement that the incident made him “sick and disgusted,” said that “the county — consistent with our long-standing policy — will cooperate fully with [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] to see that the two are deported to their countries of origin.”
According to ICE itself, however, Montgomery County does not have such a policy. On Monday, the agency released its list of jurisdictions that do not cooperate with ICE detainers, pursuant to President Donald Trump’s public safety executive order, and Montgomery County was on the list.
The ICE list of noncompliant jurisdictions published Monday lists those that refused ICE detainers between Jan. 28, 2017 and Feb. 3, 2017. It also lists jurisdictions with policies of noncooperation. Montgomery County is on both.
As recently as Feb. 2, Montgomery County police refused to honor an ICE detainer for a Salvadoran charged with assault.
Moreover, because of a 2014 decision by the county executive, Montgomery County “will not honor ICE detainers without adequate probable cause,” according to ICE.
“The public has a right to know how something this tragic and unacceptable was allowed to transpire in a public school,” Republican Gov. Larry Hogan wrote in a statement posted to Facebook.
FOX 5’s Marina Marraco asked Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Jack Smith why a 17-year-old and 18-year-old were enrolled as freshmen at the high school.
“We have a lot of 18-year-olds in our schools,” Smith told Fox 5 on Monday.
“Our student was actually in a METS [Multidisciplinary Educational Training and Support] Program for English learners and that is a program we have across the system, and so, it is not a matter of what grade they were in, but the student was in a program for English learners.”
“The safety and security of every student in our district is our top priority and a responsibility that we do not take lightly,” Smith insisted in a letter sent to district parents.
Reports indicated parents in the community were enraged illegal alien young adults were put in close proximity to 14-year-old girls without significant protections in place.
“Many [parents] told FOX 5 they are upset, angry, and want someone at MCPS to explain exactly how this happened, and what is being done to ensure it never happens again,” reported Fox 5. “Among the questions they want answers to [are] why are 17- and 18-year-old boys allowed to be with freshman girls who are as young as 14?” [and] “are unaccompanied minors who attend Montgomery County Public Schools monitored or tracked in the schools?”
Advocates for the enforcement of immigration law said public schools have been hit hard by a surge of Central American migrants.
“The surge of Central American kids has become a significant problem in many of the school districts where they are allowed to re-settle,” Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies, told Fox News on Tuesday.
“It’s not uncommon for older kids to be placed in the lower high school grades with much younger kids, because they usually have had only a few years of schooling in their home country,” she said.
In early February, Montgomery County officials publicly attacked President Trump’s immigration executive orders and encouraged illegal aliens to attend area public schools.
“We cannot allow people to be so fearful that they keep their children away from school because they’re afraid their children will be taken,” said Berliner at the time. “The president’s executive orders are not OK with us.”