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Mayor Jud Ashman Says There’s No Need to Call Gaithersburg A Sanctuary City

PHOTO | City of Gaithersburg

Gaithersburg was recently ranked number one by WalletHub as the most diverse city in the country, which is why one resident expressed his concern over the recent executive orders on immigration signed by President Donald Trump at last night’s mayor and council meeting.

“We celebrate the fact that we are the most diverse city in America according to the [U.S] Census Bureau and are committed to welcoming and embracing and protecting all who chose to call this city our home,” said Gaithersburg Councilmember Ryan Spiegel.

In a phone interview, Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman said “city officials are not deliberating to formally call Gaithersburg a ‘sanctuary city’ because we are a welcoming city.”

A “sanctuary city” is described as a city that welcomes immigrants and refugees and prohibits city police from asking residents about their citizenship status.

“There hasn’t been a reason for us to call ourselves a sanctuary city at this point,” said Ashman. “Our police operate the same way as local police throughout the county. We don’t have the resources or the information to enforce federal laws and it’s not within our jurisdiction. Our focus is providing public safety services that work for everybody in keeping our community safe and welcoming.”

“I think the most important thing to remember is that the reason most municipal police forces in the U.S. have the same approach is because they understand that in order to have a safe community, you need the cooperation of everybody in the community and if anyone is afraid  of contacting the police then it reduces and  has a impact on the community,” said Gaithersburg Councilmember Michael Sesma.

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Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at and on Twitter @mittimegan.


7 Responses to “Mayor Jud Ashman Says There’s No Need to Call Gaithersburg A Sanctuary City”

  1. Avatar
    On February 23, 2017 at 11:47 am responded with... #

    Could you provide some data for your claim that Gaithersburg has among the highest crime rate in MD and the tri-state area? I think you are mistaken.

    • Avatar
      On February 23, 2017 at 6:24 pm responded with... #

      Did you read the same article i did? Where did you see anything that talks of Gaithersburg’s crime rate?

      • Avatar
        On February 24, 2017 at 1:14 pm responded with... #

        The question was posed to a commenter who made an assertion about Gaithersburg’s crime rate. I’m guessing the comment was deleted, probably because the claim was unfounded.

  2. Avatar
    On February 23, 2017 at 2:16 pm responded with... #

    What in God’s name are you talking about? I’m from Gaithersburg. That place is candyland compared to places with actual crime.

  3. Avatar
    On February 23, 2017 at 5:51 pm responded with... #

    Anyone who thinks Gaithersburg is such a wonderful city is ahead of the recreational weed law. The City Council conveniently ignores or avoids the fact that nearly every school located within Gaithersburg is overcrowded because of nearly exclusively Hispanic immigration, meaning illegal immigration. Whenever asked about that, they say that schools are run by the county, not the city. Social services within Gaithersburg are strained but once again, the city will point to that as a county issue. The cops are paid more than county counterparts but once again the city will run for cover when asked about their duties and responsibilities. Those of us who live in Gaithersburg know what city cops do. They drive around like this is Mayberry but unfortunately they don’t do nearly as much as Barney Fife did. Gaithersburg is overcrowded thanks to none other than Mayor for Life Katz who since it was taxpayer money, meaning those of us with homes, put his head in the sand about immigration as long as he could get conintue to get reelected. You can’t drive across Gaithersburg anymore without seeing the decay. No amount of “Character Counts” signs are going to cover up what is obvious. Gaithersburg is busting at the seams because of illegal immigration. The fact remains that there isn’t enough lawns to cut and leaves to blow to support the illegals who have taken root in Gaithersburg. The only mall is Gaithersburg is bleeding money. Revenue per square foot is down and the number of “better” stores is shrinking. It wasn’t enough to limit decay to Takoma Park. Next up is Gaithersburg. You can call it what you want Jud, but you can’t call Gaithersburg the model of what to do. In this case you are celebrating the wrong thing. The fact you are growing is not due to opportunities, quality of life, business base, schools etc. Gaithersburg is growing because you, Katz, and the rest of the Council have chosen to ignore what is happening. Can’t blame you because you only followed Leggett but he doesn’t care. He will be retired and living somewhere else when the bill comes due, but take comfort. He’ll be there to hand you a Martini when you retire as well.

    • Avatar
      On February 23, 2017 at 5:58 pm responded with... #

      Interesting how the city has an “Immigration Resource” page but nothing on how the among the responsibilities of being a good citizen is obeying the law. I’m not checking but I wonder if the Immigration Resource page includes how to pay for the services given out for free. Wait, that’s not needed. They already have that. Its called the “Property Tax Bill”. Never mind.
      But I wonder? If the Immigration Resource page is in English, who’s reading it? Probably the Russians. since they speak English when they get immigrate here.

  4. Avatar
    On February 23, 2017 at 7:12 pm responded with... #

    Your article links to the 2016 study, which did rank Gaithersburg as #1. For 2017, Gaithersburg is ranked #3 below Jersey City, NJ and Germantown, MD. Among small cities, Gaithersburg is ranked #3.

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