Kate's Law - Why Oppose?
Enjoying My Summer!
Our annual summer vacation "Downy Oshen Hon" was terrific this year. I hope you’re having a great summer with your family too!
Cracking down on Criminal Illegal Aliens - Kate's Law
Congressional Liberal leadership encouraged their caucus to oppose two measures introduced in the House of Representatives to crackdown on illegal immigration. Both legislative bills were a delivery on the promise of a law-and-order approach to illegal immigration.
Kate's Law is named after Kate Steinle who was murdered in San Francisco by a criminal illegal immigrant who had been deported five times in the past and was convicted of seven felony crimes in the US. Kate was fatally shot in 2015 as she and her dad walked along the waterfront in San Francisco's tourist area. The Hill Newspaper reported that Maryland's own Rep Steny Hoyer was whipping Democrat votes against this bill. Hoyer admitted that voting against Kate's Law could hurt vulnerable Democrats because the public does not support allowing criminal illegal aliens to re-enter the US. I guess he does not think he's vulnerable because he voted against Kate's Law, as did all the Maryland Reps except Andy Harris and Dutch Ruppersberger. 24 Democrats supported this bi-partisan measure.
You can see the vote here: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll344.xml
The other bill Rep Steny Hoyer was whipping votes against is a bill to crackdown on sanctuary cities by withholding federal funds. This public safety bill will require law enforcement agencies to hold undocumented immigrants convicted of drunk driving or arrested for very serious crimes to be detained while they go through the deportation process. If state and local law enforcement agencies do not comply, their federal funds can be withheld. The bill titled No Sanctuary for Criminals and also Sarah and Grant's Law. The sole Maryland vote for this common-sense measure was Congressman Andy Harris with all other Maryland reps voting no. This reasonable law will only effect illegal immigrants who have engaged in criminal behavior.
You can see the vote here: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2017/roll342.xml
Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company getting new building
It's been a long time coming. The Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company in Baltimore County broke ground for a new firehouse this week. This has been one of the best projects I've worked on as a legislator. The project will take at least a year to complete, but there are so many people that have worked diligently to secure funding. Thanks especially to Bob Chaney and Mike Berna, both leaders at KVFC, as well as so many others that have persisted through a long process.
Murder Rate in Baltimore City
Unfortunately, this is turning out to be the bloodiest year on record for Baltimore City. The first six months of the year saw 170 homicides, the second highest six-month count in the history of our city. Violence is higher now than after the Freddy Gray riots. At the same time, the number of police officers is the lowest in decades.
There is a BlogSpot that tracks the names of the victims, along with the location, charges filed, or if it's still an open case. There is also a map showing where the violence is occurring.
It's disheartening to turn on the news and hear night after night about this senseless killing. Often, when they catch the perpetrator, he/she has a record and has committed other crimes. The judges and prosecutors in Baltimore City need to be tougher on the criminals committing crimes and not put them back into the neighborhoods they are harassing.
Baltimore's violence has attracted national attention. Last week, The Economist published a good piece on Baltimore's crisis.
However, their recommendations to address the issues do not include the much needed tougher on criminals judicial sentencing and prosecution approach. The other things we know Baltimore City residents need apart from safety include a better education, job training with real jobs, address the drug and addiction crisis, and support for the kids growing up in broken families. As the population steadily declines in the City, the blocks and blocks of vacant boarded up row homes continue to plague the poor neighborhoods increasing the unsafe parts of the City.
Revamping the policing in Baltimore City is underway. While the City police are working hard and care, the recent indictment of 7 City police officers for corruption show there has been a problem and action is being taken.
The Economist article points out, "This is catastrophic. A 50-minute drive from Washington, DC, black men aged 15 to 29 are as likely to die violently as American soldiers were in Iraq at the height of its Baathist insurgency."
I hope Mayor Pugh can find a way to bring meaningful and swift change to the escalating violence in Baltimore City.
How can you get involved?
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God bless you and your family!