- The Washington Times - Monday, March 20, 2017


Much of the heated discussion about America and its immigration laws turns on Hispanics and Muslims, and people with Hispanic-sounding names and Muslim-sounding names.

Let’s look at an issue that also is worthy of serious deliberation.

Are people who they claim to be? Who are these people who make it into the United States?

Do they come here with legitimate identification? Or do we “legitimize” them after they arrive?

Those are the most significant questions following a recent rape at a Maryland high school.

SEE ALSO: Rape at Maryland high school stirs up debate on sanctuary cities

The immigration-related headlines behind the case are zingers, and rightly so considering the incident happened during school hours inside the school house.

In short, a ninth-grader at Rockville High School in Montgomery County said two schoolmates hustled her into a boys’ restroom Thursday morning and took turns holding her down and raping her inside a stall. The girl is 14 years old, and the boys are 17 and 18.

While we hope the girl is OK and on her way toward healing, Maryland and Montgomery County education authorities have many questions to answer.

Who exactly is 18-year-old Henry E. Sanchez? He reportedly is from Guatemala, but how do school authorities know that Henry is who he says he is?

It’s unbelievably easy to determine if immigrants or wannabe immigrants are who they propose to be: Mandate photo IDs, and federal, state and local government verification every step of the way.

I appreciate, for sure, the fear of an apartheid system potentially being established here in America. However, I also appreciate that the push to allow anyone and everyone to enjoy our freedom-loving customs can blind some Americans. (Even driver’s licenses, non-driver state IDs and lease agreements “legitimize” the undeserving.)

Who exactly is 17-year-old Jose O. Montano? This is the boy the girl knew.

Leave it to law enforcement to grill Jose on why he targeted her and whether any other Rockville girls or boys have fallen victim.

In the meantime, parents and county and state school officials should be in for a grilling.

Who directed Jose and Henry to Rockville High? Who handled their enrollment? Have Rockville teachers met their parents? Do they have siblings?

All those questions (and a few others, of course) are critical in determining how public schools handle enrollment from here forward — and this is especially so because A) both Henry and Jose have only been in the states since 2016, and 2) they’ve been enrolled in Rockville High since 2016, and 3) Henry reportedly lives in Aspen Hill, where the median household income for was $75,014, and for a family was $81,474.

Here’s another reason why we have to better mind the locks and the keys: Last week at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, a U.S citizen trying to enter from Tijuana was delayed when U.S. Customs and Border Protection authorities checked the trunk of his car and — bam! — four Chinese people were found hogtied and crammed in the trunk like they were being sent to market.

The driver, the three women and one man were taken into custody thanks to the canines who sniffed out the human-trafficking scent.

While hound dogs oftentimes get a bad rap for being too lazy, America cannot afford to allow our school authorities to be lackadaisical when it comes to safety and making sure that students and teachers are who they say they are.

Schools are not sanctuaries. They are teaching and learning institutions. And it takes more than merely allowing someone to claim their name is Henry or Jose than simply handing over pieces of paper saying as much.

To be sure, the federal authorities knew Henry’s name was linked to an “alien removal” and he shouldn’t even had been in Rockville High on Thursday. A judge agreed for most part.

“I believe that you are a danger,” District Judge Eugene Wolfe declared.

School authorities should take their blinders off: Metal detectors do not scan for fraud.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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