BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Locked up and facing deportation. That’s the harsh reality for the more than 400 immigrants picked up daily since President Donald Trump took office.

Dozens are in Baltimore.

There’s been an increase in arrests, and an increase in fear for some of Maryland’s immigrant populations.

There have been 41,000 immigrant arrests nationwide so far. Nearly 11,000 of those have no criminal history.

Like Jesus Pereza, who’s locked up in Baltimore and waiting to face a judge.

With the help of a translator and her face hidden, his wife spoke with WJZ.

“She’s afraid they’ll do the same to her,” the translator said.

Telling us, in March, Pereza dropped their son off at school and came home to waiting officers.

Now his growing family has two dates looming, both next month.

His court date, and her due date.

“She wants him to be able to stay because she’s going to give birth and she wants him to be with her,” the translator said.

She also says her husband’s arrest is an injustice. In Harford County, Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler says his officers are partnering with ICE to simply enforce the law.

“We screen everyone, whether they’re black, white, Asia,” he said. “Whether they’re male, female, old or young.”

A blind screen process, for anyone arrested and taken to Harford County’s jail, has flagged 36 undocumented immigrants in the last 6 months, 24 of them with criminal rap sheets.

The Sheriff says his focus is preventing violent crime.

“As Sheriff of Harford County, I’m concerned with public safety,” Gahler said.

You may remember, just last month, lawmakers floated the idea of challenging President Trump’s immigration crackdown, and making Maryland a sanctuary state. But the bill was withdrawn before it went to a vote.

During Trump’s administration, deportations have actually dropped about 12 percent. Authorities blame a backlog in the federal court system.

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Kimberly Eiten

Comments (2)
  1. It’s called enforcing the law. If you come to this country legally, you can stay. If you come illegally, you have to leave.