FOX 5 is hearing on camera for the first time from Montgomery County leaders and residents after two undocumented immigrants from El Salvador reportedly raped an 11-year-old girl repeatedly in Germantown.
The county is now blaming the federal government and refusing to weigh in on if its sanctuary atmosphere attracted the two suspects to the area.
“If the system failed, it failed on the federal government,” said Barry Hudson, Public Information Director.
Hudson spoke with FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis due to several county leaders being away at the Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference in Ocean City.
Meanwhile, ICE says 28-year-old Carlos Palacios-Amaya was removed from the U.S. in 2014. It's unclear when he re-entered the country.
Mauricio Barrera-Navidad, 29, received a final order of removal in 2016 but remained in the U.S.
“I think it’s horrible. How I feel generally about immigration, I don’t want to mince the two. Crime is crime and immigration is immigration and I think those should be handled separately but for those two gentlemen, I think there’s a special place in hell for them,” said Rockville resident Joshua Hayes.
“I think that they should be subject to the laws just as we are and that’s fine with me but I think there’s a lot of injustice going on in the name of keeping America safe,” said Silver Spring resident Elsie Klumpner.
County Executive Marc Elrich emailed FOX 5 saying, “According to Montgomery County’s policy, the County’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation would release the suspects to ICE in this case if a judicial warrant has been issued. Otherwise, the County will notify ICE once the individuals are eligible for release.”
ICE has issued detainers against both men but what remains unanswered is what the county is doing to be proactive instead of reactive.