In April, the Maryland state legislature adjourned its 2019 regular session and, in so doing, postponed for another year a vote on whether to become a sanctuary state. Maryland Democrats have been pushing the state to acquire sanctuary status, even though some jurisdictions within the state have already appointed themselves sanctuaries for illegal aliens. One of them is Prince George’s County, which borders Washington, D.C.
Last year, the county released from custody two teen illegals from El Salvador — Josue Rafael Fuentes-Ponce, 16, and Joel Ernesto Escobar, 17 — who had been arrested for attempted murder. The action was made in defiance of an ICE detainer for both boys, who, moreover, had gang affiliations.
Recently, the pair made headlines again, along with a female friend, 14-year-old Cynthia Hernandez-Nucamendi. All were charged with the murder of 14-year-old Ariana Funes-Diaz, who was killed with a baseball bat and machere and whose body was found in a creek in a wooded area.
Daniel Horowitz writing at Conservative Review reports that Fuentes-Ponce was first apprehended as part of a family unit that arrived in Texas on December 23, 2015. “An immigration judge ordered Fuentes removed … on March 16, 2017, but … he had already disappeared.”
Escobar had a parallel experience, except that because his family smuggled him in alone, he was resettled as an unaccompanied alien child. “On Aug. 23, 2016, immigration officials encountered unlawfully present El Salvadoran national Joel Ernesto Escobar as an unaccompanied juvenile near McAllen, Texas. Escobar was transferred to the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, and later released to a family member in the Washington, D.C. area,” said Whelan.
One has to wonder whether the Maryland legislature will take any of these details into consideration when it reconvenes next year to evaluate its sanctuary bill.