Baltimore state's attorney Marilyn Mosby wants prosecutors to use "discretion" when it comes to minor, nonviolent cases involving immigrants.
"As the current administration in Washington continues to increase its efforts to enforce immigration laws, we, as prosecutors, are the torch bearers of justice in this city, thereby we must utilize our prosecutorial discretion as we do in every case by considering the unintended collateral consequences that our decisions have on our immigrant population," Mosby's office said in a recent memo, WBAL-TV reported.
WBFF-TV reported that chief deputy state's attorney Michael Schatzow sent a memo to staff last week instructing them to not enforce the law against immigrants as they might against U.S. citizens or legal residents. The station reported the minor cases to which Mosby's office referred were cases where immigrants are suspected of nonviolent crimes such as trespassing, loitering, minor drug possession, and petty theft.
The memo comes as President Donald Trump's administration cracks down on illegal immigration, which Trump vowed to do throughout the 2016 presidential campaign. The Trump administration has made the point that while it supports immigrants who wish to make the U.S. their new home, those immigrants have to do so legally.
Just days after taking office, Trump issued an executive order directing federal departments and agencies to "deploy all lawful means to secure the nation's southern border, to prevent further illegal immigration into the United States, and to repatriate illegal aliens swiftly, consistently, and humanely."
The Trump administration has threatened to cut off federal funding to sanctuary cities that harbor illegal immigrants. Trump even suggested he might be open to cutting off federal funding to the entire state of California over its sanctuary status.