On Thursday, the Maryland Montgomery County Council, stung by White House criticism that stated, " ... since July 25, 7 illegal aliens protected by the 'sanctuary' county have been arrested for rape and sexual assaults," issued a letter insulting the White House, President Trump, acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli, and supposed "neo-Nazi sympathizers" who had criticized their criminal justice system.
The White House had tweeted:
On Friday, Cuccinelli fired back at the Montgomery County Council in a series of tweets challenging Montgomery County Council county executive Marc Elrich to a debate. Cuccinelli wrote:
Sanctuary County, Montgomery County, MD cannot debate the failure of its sanctuary policies on the merits (7 violent assaults, rape etc, incl child victims in ~1 month), so they resort to ad hominem attacks using nazi implications – arguments out of bounds in civil society. If MontCo Chairman Elrich thinks the sanctuary policy they are so proud of is so good, I challenge him to a debate on the subject.
Neutral location (e.g. cspan or webcast w/no audience present). 1 hr total, 2.5 min open & close, w/alternating 5 min blocks determined by lot. No moderator, only a timekeeper w/a hard stop (i.e., mic goes off at end of time). I’ll defend children and crime victims, Elrich can defend rapists and murders who shouldn’t even be in this country. What do you say, Mr. Chairman?
The letter from the council prompting Cuccinelli's challenge stated, in part,
There has been a lot (of )inaccurate information spread by the White House, President Trump, Acting USCIS Director Ken Cuccinelli, local and national conservative news outlets and neo-Nazi sympathizers regarding our criminal justice system and its process. These individuals and organizations should be ashamed for spreading false information seeking to establish a baseless, illogical and xenophobic connection between a person’s failure to obtain legal status and their propensity to commit a sex crime.
Montgomery County has earned a reputation as a great place to live, work and raise a family, not despite of, but because of who we are. We are teachers, scholars, scientists, engineers and our small businesses power the engines of our economy. We will not be defined by a racist paintbrush designed to stoke unreasonable fear and tensions in our county.
On July 22, Elrich signed the Promoting Community Trust Executive Order, barring county employees, including the police, from coming to the aid of federal immigration authorities without a warrant signed by a judge.
The Montgomery County Federation of Republican Women issued a statement attacking the council's attitude about the series of rapes in their area:
We are Montgomery County mothers, grandmothers, professional women and stay-at-home moms who once again call upon all our county elected officials to focus their efforts on protecting everyone in Montgomery County, including the most vulnerable in our county — young women and girls, especially those in our immigrant communities.
Criminals and gang members should not have the opportunity to prey on young girls. What kind of elected officials would choose to give “sanctuary” to those who commit such acts, when they have every opportunity and resource to remove them BEFORE they cause such human devastation.
We are outraged and horrified by the seven rapes in Montgomery County reported in August alone, of innocent young women and girls, some as young as 11 years old.
Further, we are shocked and deeply disappointed that the Montgomery County Council chose to use its official position to issue an outrageously ideological statement. They chose to describe Montgomery County residents and all those who voiced a justifiable and sincere outrage over these reported crimes, as “Neo-Nazi sympathizers” which only foments hate and division in the county, in order to deflect away from their failure as our elected officials.
We call on all County elected officials to focus their time and attention on the tasks of properly running the county government and most importantly protecting the most vulnerable in Montgomery County, including in our immigrant communities.