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"It's Time..."

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Rockville votes to take a stand against President Trump and federal immigration policy

Rockville SealROCKVILLE – Rockville City Council members called the debate over the proposed ordinance to prohibit city officials from enforcing immigration law, one of the most contentious issues they have dealt with.

On Monday, the Rockville City Council and Mayor voted to pass the Fostering Community Trust Ordinance 3-2, which will ban City officials from assisting in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Council members Virginia D. Onley, Julie Palakovich Carr and Mark Pierzchala voted in favor of the ordinance while Council member Beryl L. Feinberg and Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton voted against it.

“When it comes to this jurisdiction, I think it’s time for the City of Rockville to take a stand,” Pierzchala said.

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Tap dancing with fallen stars

tap shoes

On the road again as I attempt to get back into a routine and with it gain some level of normalcy had me returning to the White House and attending the daily White House press briefings after a bit of a respite due to personal reasons. Well, if normalcy equates to frustration then watching Sean Spicer do his best impression of Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly rolled into one as he tap dances his way to responding to questions hurled at him, no matter how soft the softball question is, then normal it is.

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Takoma Park concerned about status

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Takoma Park is concerned after the Trump administration issued an executive order that may punish sanctuary cities.

The City of Takoma Park considers itself to be a sanctuary city, where city officials (including police) will not identify illegal immigrants. The city has been a sanctuary city since 1985, and its sanctuary law specifically prohibits city employees from asking city residents about their citizenship and immigration status, as well as cooperating with federal laws that may lead to deportations, according to the city.

“One of the things we want to make sure is that people have the information they need and resources they need to answer their questions and to meet the challenges that are facing us,” said Mayor Kate Stewart.

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Rockville stays the course

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Rockville Seal

ROCKVILLE – Rockville Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton said it is too early to tell whether a proposed ordinance to prevent city officials from enforcing immigration law could cause Rockville to lose federal funding. 

“The city council hasn't had the discussion yet,” said Donnell Newton when asked about whether Rockville could lose federal funding if the City Council passes the Fostering Community Trust Ordinance.

Monday night, residents each took their turn to mostly voice their opinions on one issue – immigration. For more than hour, during the usual public comment during city council meetings, residents told the City Council to pass the Fostering Community Trust ordinance, the proposed bill that would prevent city officials from complying with federal immigration detainers.

“This will ensure that our residents, citizens and permanent residents, visa holders and yes, also undocumented immigrants feel safe reporting crime and serving as witnesses,” said John Yang, president of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a civil rights organization.

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Immigration issue overshadows rape

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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

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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

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Local children apparently afraid while at school parents will be deported

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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

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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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