Maryland immigration cases have come into sudden prominence and are the center of a national full-scale immigration war. And it is only going to get worse. Maryland is in the peculiar situation of having a Republican governor, Larry Hogan, and a solid Democratic majority both in the State Senate and in the House of Delegates. It is also a state that voted 60% for Hillary Clinton during the latest presidential election and which will vote for its governor again in 2018. Its proximity to Washington makes it the perfect battlefield for a total confrontation on immigration.
It all began with the State opposition to the revised edition of the travel ban by the Trump administration.
Attorney General, Brian Frosh, joined the battle against the new travel ban claiming that Maryland would lose potential visits from academians, scientists, and engineers from the six countries mentioned in the next executive order. This resulted in Maryland Federal judge Theodore D. Chuang issuing a temporary restraining order on the ban on the basis of religious discrimination.
His decision came few hours after a similar decision had been reached by a Federal Judge in Hawaii, but Chuang’s ruling was less restrictive. He did not block some part of the order like the number of refugees allowed in the US and the 120 pause of all refugees.
In the meantime, several institutions in the State of Maryland pushed open support for illegal immigrants. Actually, Maryland is planning to become the real first sanctuary state. The House of Delegates has just approved a bill that would prohibit both local and state police officers from taking any action against someone suspected of being al illegal immigrant. The Governor has already promised he will veto it.
The Trump Administration Picks Maryland as the Preferred Battle Field
The Department of Justice decided to file an appeal against the temporary restraining order issued in Maryland only. The apparent intention is to go before the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal which is considered to be more conservative as compared to the 9th Circuit which decided upon the block to the first travel ban.
Several experts, even on the Democratic side, believe that the revised travel ban will eventually be upheld.
In the first place, the revised executive order has not been stopped by the very Federal Judge who stopped the first one, James Robart. And several judges in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal have officially stated that the ban was constitutional even in its first version.
Hence, the appeal on the Maryland case is going to be the crucial step in supporting the foreign immigration policy of the Trump Administration.
The Shocking Evolution Leading to a New Major Crisis
Unfortunately, in the last few day, Maryland has been the stage of a horrible sex crime. A 14-year-old girl has been repeatedly raped alledgedly by two immigrants in her own school. Both immigrants were much older than she was, but they had been placed in the same 9th-grade classroom. One of them was for sure undocumented and was slanted for deportation.
This or course spurred an immediate controversy about deportation activities and sanctuary policies. Rockville, the very city where the rape occurred was discussing becoming a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. The State governor declared he will veto any sanctuary policy proposed by Maryland legislative bodies.
The very Democratic base of the city has been shaken.
Illegal Voters and Border Wall Come Into Play
In the meantime, another issue is coming to the forefront: illegal alien votes in Maryland.
If that wasn’t enough, Maryland has also joined the fray in criticizing the border wall.
While 58% of voters in Maryland have stated they would rather have a wall built between Mexico and the USA.
Therefore we see that the situation in the State of Maryland contains all the elements for a major political and legal confrontation. It includes all the key immigration issues being discussed at the moment:
- Travel ban and national security
- Sanctuary city and state policies
- Deportation of criminal immigrants
- School subsidy and protection to undocumented immigrants
- Illegal voting by non-citizens
- Border wall controversy
This is where most of the issues will be debated in the near future. It will be an immigration battle of great importance for both sides.