- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 19, 2011

That liberal Democratic-controlled Maryland is a sanctuary state for illegal aliens is no surprise (“Foes push repeal as Dream cheered,” Metro, Wednesday). What is a surprise is that in March, Maryland’s House of Delegates Rules Committee held hearings concerning the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

House Joint Resolution 10 was introduced by first-term Republican Delegate Neil Parrott and co-sponsored by 15 other delegates. Joint resolution 10 resolves that Maryland “end sanctuary policies and require public and private employers comply with federal and state immigration laws” and calls on law enforcement to arrest any person harboring illegal aliens.

Gov. Martin O’Malley and his left-wing comrades in the General Assembly ignore the federal laws regarding immigration issues despite the constitutional requirement that they enforce them. The statutes of the United States is part of the law of each state just as if it were written into each state’s law books. The federal code makes no exceptions. Any governor, mayor or local official who offers sanctuary to illegal aliens and prohibits the police from enforcing the federal law is in violation.

Offering sanctuary to illegal aliens not only undermines our legal system but also creates a great financial burden for Maryland’s citizen taxpayers. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates the illegal alien population in Maryland to be 300,000. The direct cost to Maryland taxpayers forced to support the illegal population include education, health and incarceration. The documented cost of educating from kindergarten to 12th grade the 80,300 children of illegal aliens is more than $966 million annually, according to the July 2010 report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform. An additional $250 million is spent providing special English instruction to an estimated 35,000 children of illegal aliens. The total cost for educating the children of illegals is more than $1.2 billion a year. Health care for illegals in Maryland costs $167 million a year and incarceration of illegal alien criminals costs $29 million.

There are additional indirect costs. As Joint Resolution 10 states, “the illegal alien invasion has a corresponding increase in violent crimes, criminal gang activity, threats to public health … and jobs taken from Americans.” These indirect costs, though incalculable, are substantial. Illegals who break the law to enter the United States are likely to continue to break other laws to stay here and will migrate to places that won’t prosecute or deport them.

Maryland has an estimated structural budget deficit of more than $1 billion, but the state would have a surplus were it not for the costs of supporting the illegal alien population.

SIDNEY SECULAR

Silver Spring, Md.