City holds public forum and listens as residents and neighbors discuss immigration
ROCKVILLE – More than 80 people testified during a public hearing Monday on a planned ordinance which would preclude the city from enforcing federal immigration law.
Residents, property owners and workers in the city, as well as individuals from elsewhere in the county, shared concerns about what would happen if the ordinance was implemented.
Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton said the purpose of the public hearing was to give residents a chance to comment on the idea of Rockville becoming a sanctuary city. She said she and the council received many letters over the past few weeks pertaining to the sanctuary city status.
There were “many in support and there are many who have concerns,” Newton said.
Part 2 of an ongoing series on the stories of the immigrant population of Montgomery County
Jean Valjean (not his real name) is a Montgomery County resident who has lived in the United States for nearly a quarter-century, speaks English fluently and owns a successful clothing business, and until August 2013, he was an undocumented immigrant.
Valjean was born in Abidjan, the largest city in the Francophonic West African nation of Ivory Coast, but says he has few memories the land of his birth, which he left in 1993 when he was 6 years old.
“My grandfather ran a very successful bakery, and my mother was his favorite child,” Valjean said. “He planned to leave everything to her, but my mother’s siblings conspired to kill her and us, so she raised all the money she could to bring us to the United States as lawful visa holders."
Recent reports from Casa de Maryland confirmed 15 deportation raids throughout Langley Park, Baltimore County and Sterling, Virginia, within a period of six days. One occurred in Montgomery County. Eleven undocumented immigrants have been detained so far.
Lead field organizer at immigration advocacy organization Casa de Maryland Ricardo Campos said that activity from Immigration Customs Enforcement is expected to have a heavy impact in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas.
Once the snow melts and the weather warms, a trace of winter still remains: potholes.
ROCKVILLE – Due to actions by the county executive this week, Montgomery County is just one of three jurisdictions in Maryland that requires probable cause per the Fourth Amendment before honoring a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer request for undocumented immigrants being held in local detention centers.