BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gangs full of illegal immigrants on the streets of Baltimore? Those are the claims by Donald Trump that have city leaders and immigrant groups furious.
Trump made the comments in Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate.
Christie Ileto has the growing outrage in Baltimore.
Donald Trump is no stranger to controversial remarks, but a local group says, this time, he’s crossed the line.
Baltimore gangs tied to undocumented immigrants? That’s what Donald Trump believes.
“They looked at some of the gangs in Baltimore,” Trump said.
He voiced his opinion in August.
“They’ve got some rough illegal immigrants in those gangs,” he continued.
And this week, during a Republican Party debate.
“Gangs all over the place… Chicago, Baltimore,” Trump said.
“What is he saying? You know? It’s a big question mark,” said Jesus Perez, CASA de Maryland.
That’s what Perez and other members of CASA de Maryland, a Latino advocacy nonprofit, are asking.
“We have jobs, 9 to 5. Nobody has time to be in a gang or fooling around, saying, ‘Oh, I’m in a gang. Let’s run the streets,'” Perez said.
It’s no secret Baltimore has its share of gangs, but city officials say there’s no evidence the city’s gang problem is linked to undocumented immigrants.
“The people that have been arrested and identified as parts of gangs have not indicated that they are in any way associated with undocumented or illegal immigrants,” said Tyrone Power, former FBI special agent.
At last check, 45,000 foreign-born people call Baltimore home.
“What kind of image does this put Baltimore in?” asked Ileto.
“It’s just a negative light. It’s just another thing said out in the media by someone who’s out of touch,” Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott, District 2, responded.
City officials encourage Trump to visit Baltimore so he can separate fact from fiction.
Local criminologists say most of the city’s gangs have either originated from the West Coast or out of the city or state jails.
Maryland has the tenth largest undocumented population in the country, with the 2010 Census showing around 250,000 people.