Maryland – Alec Ross, candidate for governor of Maryland, said on Monday, October 9, that he would have the State Police arrest ICE agents if they violate state laws and individual rights.
Ross’ comments occurred in an interview with Dan Rodricks, reporter for The Baltimore Sun.
He said, “I swear to God, if the ICE officers violate the laws of Maryland and violate the rights of the citizens and guests of us here in the state of Maryland, I will have State Troopers arrest the ICE officers, and God bless the confrontation that brings with Donald Trump.”
State Troopers are obligated to ignore unlawful orders.
Ross, age 45, is a former senior advisor on technology for former President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
His controversial comments have drawn public criticism, and in response to that, he said that he stands by what he said.
Ross later said on Monday, “These ICE officers are very frequently violating the law. God help you if you are Latino, even if you are a legal immigrant, you’re getting jacked up in East Baltimore, you’re getting jacked up in Takoma Park and in Silver Spring. It’s got to stop.”
A bill was introduced in March, the Maryland Law Enforcement and Governmental Trust Act, that would make Maryland a ‘sanctuary state’. It was withdrawn when it reached the State House in April after current Governor Lawrence Hogan, Jr. threatened to veto it, and federal Attorney General Jeff Sessions strongly “rebuked” it, according to The Washington Times.
In the state itself, the city of Baltimore, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County have all claimed sanctuary city status, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
In the interview, Ross claimed that ICE has been going to immigrants’ homes to question them, and that they’ve made warrantless entries in some homes.
He also said that “while there’s nothing the governor can or should be doing about enforcement actions that don’t violate state laws,” he would make sure “state laws are respected.”
Ross blamed President Trump for an increase in immigrant arrests.
He said that ICE agents are not trustworthy, and that legal immigrants are afraid to send their kids to school.
Ross said, “I do not believe that speaking Spanish is probable cause for an investigation.”
In late September, 28 illegal immigrants in Maryland were arrested as part of a nationwide sweep of “so-called sanctuary jurisdictions” that have refused to cooperate with law enforcement.
These immigrants were not those that had deferred status; the sweep ‘prioritized’ those who had criminal convictions, criminal charges or gang affiliations, and those who were immigration fugitives or had re-entered after being deported, according to WBAL.
Ross is part of a crowded field of candidates for Maryland Governor. In a recent poll, five percent of Democrats said they would vote for him.