Berliner Says Montgomery Searching for Proper Response to Immigration Raids (VIDEO)
After a weekend of immigration enforcement raids across the country, Montgomery County officials are trying to find the right response to reassure its immigration community, County Council President Roger Berliner said Monday.
“We’re trying to figure out in this very new world order how we in the county can go about doing what is appropriate to assure our community that we’re not going to turn our backs if there are raids in our county,” Berliner said in his weekly meeting with reporters.
Some nerves are on edge in the county after rumors Friday evening that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement conducted a raid in Wheaton. The rumors were proven false. Berliner said the weekend raids caused anxiety here and across the country.
ICE said raids were “routine.”
“The trouble with that description is that nothing feels routine anymore,” Berliner said.
The county will try to hold the community together and to promote public safety, he said.
“We’re trying to figure out in this very new world order how we in the county can go about doing what is appropriate to assure our community that we’re not going to turn our backs if there are raids in our county,” Berliner said.
One answer could be regional private foundations. The nonprofits could help individuals who could be subject to deportation understand their rights and their defenses, Berliner said.
“Our county will be exploring how it responds if there are at some point in the future raids in our county that end up tearing families apart and how we can respond to that situation compassionately and appropriately,” he said.
Under the terms of President Trump’s executive order, Berliner said he didn’t believe Montgomery County constituted a “sanctuary city.” The county reports its arrests to the state, who in turn, notifies the federal government.
“In the president’s vernacular, we do take care of the bad guys in Montgomery County,” he said. The county cooperates with the federal government when it comes to criminals.
“I feel like we are doing the things that we ought to do. I don’t have definitive answers [for] you. What I do know is that we are getting our minds around these issues to how best we can respond in a manner that is proper, and measured, responsible and is compassionate,” Berliner said.