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Commentary Justice

Letter to the Editor Takes Issue With Our Terminology in Immigration Rally Story

Montgomery County police stand in front of the County Council building Friday as opponents of the county’s immigration policies protest. Photo by Glynis Kazanjian

I am disappointed that the Maryland Matters editor is insisting on inaccurately referring to a recent event as “anti-immigrant.”

A rally in Montgomery County, held on Friday, Sept. 13, was organized by “Concerned Citizens of Montgomery County” along with Help Save Maryland. The event was called a Community Rally to “Protect Our Families and Children.” There was a 3’x5’ banner prominently displaying this exact event title. Speakers were featured to call out our county government’s dangerous policies shielding criminal illegal aliens in our county, eight of whom have been charged with rape or sexual assaults in just the last month.

Of the 11 speakers, two were “Angel” family members and Montgomery County citizens – one who lost her only child and the other who lost her 33-year-old husband and father to their two young children – to an illegal alien who had multiple ICE detainer requests on him which Montgomery County did not cooperate with. Had Montgomery County cooperated with ICE, these two women would still have their respective loved ones alive today. It must be further noted that the young widow’s husband was himself a naturalized American and immigrated here legally from Venezuela as a child. It defies logic and is the most crass and heartless insult to cast such an Angel family member as being “anti-immigrant.”

Further, three of the remaining nine speakers were themselves either “new Americans” or the children of naturalized Americans. Again, a wild stretch to describe such people as being “anti-immigrant.”

Finally, while I saw not one single sign that described anything that could remotely claim to reflect any “anti-immigrant” sentiment, I saw many other signs including “No to illegal immigrant, YES to Legal Immigrant” (being held by an Asian-looking woman), “Prosecute County officials,” “Support ICE,” “Enforce our laws for all,” “Rape is Rape. Stop protecting Criminals,” “Stop the rape of immigrant children,” “Safety not sanctuary,” etc.

I was holding a sign saying, “Support Legal Immigration” and I take great offense at being called “anti-immigrant.” The County Council used exactly this same shameful tactic when they chose in a recent press release to describe opponents to sanctuary policies as “Neo-Nazi sympathizers.” As a granddaughter of four Jewish legal immigrants I found that especially offensive, and moronic.

Like the County Council, Maryland Matters is also experiencing that when you are trying to defend an indefensible position, the only refuge is either mischaracterization or fabrication. Maryland Matters should print a correction to their shamefully and offensively inaccurate description of this event immediately and strive to not repeat such poor judgement in the future.

Gail Weiss, Bethesda


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Letter to the Editor Takes Issue With Our Terminology in Immigration Rally Story