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Immigration issue overshadows rape

  • Published in Local

Outrage and sadness erupted after a girl reported a rape in a Rockville High School bathroom on March 16.

But the unity of emotion following the rape of a 14-year-old student comes to a crashing halt when the topic of immigration surfaces.

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Outrage over high school rape

  • Published in Local

Parents worry for safety while school system defends actions in wake of crime

Sanchez mug shotHenry E. Sanchez        POLICE COURTESY PHOTO

WASHINGTON D.C. – The federal government will take no special actions against Montgomery County or Rockville, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, following a rape of a 14- year-old female student at Rockville High School allegedly involving an 18-year-old and 17-year-old undocumented immigrants.

Both Rockville and Montgomery County do not cooperate with federal authorities on enforcing immigration law unless the person is a violent offender.

“Our policy and executive order speak for themselves,” Spicer said, but added there was “nothing special” planned against either the city or the county.

On Friday, police arrested two students from Rockville High School and charged them with first-degree rape, after allegedly raping a fellow female student Thursday morning around nine a.m.

Henry E. Sanchez, 18, and Jose O. Montano, 17, are both charged with one count of first-degree rape and two first-degree sex offenses and are being held without bond.

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Immigrant fear continues

  • Published in Local

Local children apparently afraid while at school parents will be deported

MCPS logo

Anxious calls of concern are coming into both the Montgomery School District’s main offices and individual schools as parents work to deal with their fears about whether they or their children might be deported due to their immigration status.

“Parents are concerned,” said Montgomery County Public School District Spokesman Derek Turner. “We’ve heard from up-county, and we’ve heard from down-county,” he said, explaining that the calls aren’t just coming from a few isolated areas.

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Rockville considers sanctuary

  • Published in Local

City holds public forum and listens as residents and neighbors discuss immigration

Rockville Seal

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.

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“They put me in handcuffs”

  • Published in Local

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."

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Takoma Park to remain a sanctuary city despite Trump's executive order

  • Published in Local

Takoma Park Govt logo

While the future of Pres. Donald Trump’s executive order to severely limit the number of people from some Muslim-majority countries is played out in the courts and out in the streets filled with protesters, Takoma Park stands strong in its decades-old decision to be a sanctuary city.

“Nothing is changing,” said Mayor Kate Stewart.

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Suspect in murder had been deported to El Salvador

  • Published in Crime

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) had deported Oscar Ernesto Delgado-Perez, the third suspect in a gang-related murder, twice before to El Salvador. Delgado-Perez then illegally entered the country again, to allegedly kill 20-year-old victim Cristian Antonio Villagran-Morales.

In his bond review on September 8, prosecutor Robert Hill told District Court Judge Zuberi Williams that Delgado-Perez was just about to leave to Texas when police found him. 

“He said to police: ‘If I hadn’t been drunk this morning, you guys would never have caught me,’” said Hill. 

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Local student reaches out to assist incoming immigrants

  • Published in State

SILVER SPRING — Since the deportation of his parents years earlier and possibly facing a similar fate, Yves Gomes, 23, has battled to remain in the United States, campaigning for other undocumented immigrants like himself, and pushing state and national legislators to reform current immigration laws.

Gomes is currently staying in the U.S. under a two-year waiver from President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an executive order that allows undocumented immigrants who came to the United States when they were 16 or younger to apply for temporary legal status.

The last time Yves Gomes saw his father Robin Gomes in person was almost eight years ago, when he was being escorted out of their Silver Spring home in handcuffs by federal authorities. The family ordeal began a week earlier when the elder Gomes was pulled over by police for a broken taillight, not knowing for sure whether police would share information about his immigration status with federal authorities. Then, in the early morning hours on Aug. 9, 2008, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided the Gomes’ residence to detain Robin Gomes for overstaying his visa.

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Leggett sides with civil liberties supporters

  • Published in Local

IkeLeggettROCKVILLE – 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.

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