Berliner Insists County Is Not a Sanctuary County (VIDEO)

Council President Roger Berliner said the recent rape allegations at Rockville High School reinforce what Montgomery County does, which is cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

At his weekly meeting with reporters, Berliner said he had received emails from county residents calling Montgomery a “sanctuary county.” He disagreed with the characterization.

Sanctuary counties, he said, do not cooperate with the federal government at all. In the county, if a detainer exists on an individual, ICE is informed.

“In that sense, we do cooperate,” Berliner said.

But the county lacks the legal authority to hold someone longer than they are to be held.

The rape charge against two teenaged immigrants has rocked a county known for being welcoming to other cultures, which county officials have called the “Montgomery County Way.” Despite Trump administration executive orders limiting immigration, state and county elected officials have staged rallies expressing support for immigrants.

Berliner refused to criticized Montgomery County Public Schools for its policies.

“If the school system believes … they need to change their policy, I am respectful of that. I am not going to tell them how to do their business in that regard,” he said.

MCPS spokeswoman Melissa Rivera said the school system’s Office of Student and Family Support and Engagement is working with school administrators to support to students at Rockville High.

The council president said the county’s policies have been formed around public safety. If immigrants believe local police enforce federal immigration laws, they are less likely to assist in investigations, Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger has said.

“Until my police chief comes here, and sits next to me, and says Roger we ought to change the way we ought to do our business because our public safety is at risk, I trust my police chief that we are doing this the right way,” Berliner said.

In this video, Berliner discusses school resource officers and the county budget:

School resource officers are divided by district. Rivera said District 1 (Rockville) has 8; District 2 (Bethesda) has 4; District 3 (Silver Spring) has 4; District 4 (Wheaton) has 7; District 5 (Germantown) has 5; and District 6 (Montgomery Village) has 2.


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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


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