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What does the County Council’s Statement on Immigration Mean for Illegal Residents and Law Enforceme



Montgomery County is not a “sanctuary jurisdiction” despite how it may appear based on recent statements from the County Council.

“The January 25 President Trump Executive Order has zero impact on our operations but is troubling in creating fear and angst in our community, said Councilmember Craig Rice, who represents District 2-Germantown.

On Monday, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and the Montgomery County Council released a joint statement reaffirming the County’s “Community Values” in the wake of President Donald Trump’s Jan. 25, Executive Order on “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements.”

The County Executive and County Council’s joint statement reads in part, “Montgomery County is committed to building and maintaining a safe and inclusive community for our residents. Understanding, tolerance, and respect are hallmarks of the Montgomery County way. Social justice for all is what we strive to achieve in our County.”


“We greatly regret the anxiety that has been stoked among many in our community as a result of the President’s Executive Orders. We issue this statement to assure all of our residents that those orders will not change the way that County police officers or County workers interact with the public and will not impact how we provide social services.”

“It is longstanding County policy that County police do not enforce federal immigration law. Neither will they inquire about immigration status when individuals are stopped nor target individuals based on their ethnicity, race, or religious beliefs.”

“The County’s law enforcement leaders are also committed to our values, and they will continue working to build trust in our community. Police Chief Tom Manger, Corrections and Rehabilitation Director Rob Green, Sheriff Darren Popkin, and State’s Attorney John McCarthy are sworn to protect the rights of all residents and to treat all individuals equally.”

“Your County leaders stand ready to take the steps necessary to defend our values and maintain the integrity of our community. Executive orders are not self-executing. They require additional actions by federal agencies to be implemented. In addition, executive orders are subject to public scrutiny and legal challenges.”


However, according to 5th District Commander, Captain David Gillespie and other County officials, Montgomery County is not and has never been a “sanctuary jurisdiction.”

“Montgomery County is not a Sanctuary Jurisdiction,” Gillespie told local business people gathered for a meeting of the Clarksburg Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wednesday. “Despite the fact that we as police officers encounter people every day, we don’t ask about that their immigration status. We do cooperate with federal authorities when they ask for information on people’s status.”