As a minority liberal in a rural and very conservative part of the county, I’d like to share what I see as a shift in the thinking of some conservative friends and neighbors, who usually avoid talking with me about anything except vegetable gardens, pups, grandkids, runaway chickens and wildlife.

A neighbor who works in law enforcement, and up to now has been a true believer in 287(g) and Inter-governmental Service Agreements and all they represent, has recently expressed concern — grief, actually — about the separation of dependent children and others from family members arrested and detained for nonviolent civil infractions currently being labeled crimes. And a nearby family who once waited nearly an hour for the sheriff’s office to respond after a fatal incident of domestic violence, have questioned the time, personnel and funds being devoted to the search for and apprehension of peaceful and productive undocumented members of the community.

We all share the desire to protect ourselves, our children and other loved ones from criminal acts by violent people. But we have differing views about which children belong in the category “our children,” and which pose a real versus imagined threat to them and the community.

And we do disagree about the difference between actual facts and alternative ones; between just and unjust laws; between legitimate use of power, and abuse of power and human rights; and about when that abuse reaches a level that requires putting the public good ahead of political interest. And finally, perhaps most relevant to the difficult challenges currently facing our elected governing officials and their advisers: We disagree about what it means to use the letter of the law to betray its spirit, which has nothing to do with power and its privileges and everything to do with justice.

With respect for the fact that opposing views may result from equally sincere beliefs, my fellow “troublemakers” (aka “scofflaws”) and I are still hoping against hope that the honorable and capable officials mentioned above will find the personal and political will to lead us all in a better direction — a more conservative direction, really — than the unchecked extreme one we’ve been allowing the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office to take us in for more than a decade now. We can continue to hope this because in so many other ways, those same officials have been valiantly leading us toward a better, more humane and livable Frederick.

Jo Harte


(31) comments


I will try this again. First, there is absolutely no evidence that the sheriffs office is out hunting down illegal aliens so they can "separate" them from children. This letter writer offers none and no comment here has proved any proof.

Second, when a genuine American citizen gets arrested for a crime they are separated from their children. It happens all the time. Where is the outrage about that?

Why does it only matter to liberals when it's someone who isn't supposed to be here in the first place?

Comment deleted.

Gdunn, Why was Roxana Santos arrested and separated from her children for how long? What was the court’s verdict on her wrongful incarceration? Why was a pedestrian eating lunch arrested?

Comment deleted.

Try to be relevant, Roxana Santos would beg to differ.


Very good LTE, Jo.


While I seriously find it hard to believe that it took 1 hour for the Sheriffs office to respond to a domestic homicide, your suggestion that the 287g program somehow affects response times to calls is completely inaccurate and shows that you dont understand the program at all. The 287g program is run through the jail and not the law enforcement side of the Sheriffs Office. Also, contrary to some people's beliefs, there isn't a roaming posse of deputies searching the county looking for illegal immigrants.


It’s a shame the Santos case has a gag order on the final outcome of her settlement. I think it would shed some light to how negatively 287 has impacted the county financially. Or, does the gag order itself speak volumes?


Excellent letter. Let me know when you run for any office at all, and you'll have my vote!


She writes ... "And a nearby family who once waited nearly an hour for the sheriff’s office to respond after a fatal incident of domestic violence." That statement alone is a blatant lie. The author admittedly holds anti-Constitution and anti-law ideology. That alone is enough to stop reading her letter, and to totally dismiss her "opinion".


How do you know it is a lie??


"A blatant lie," rather than a mistake, is a harsh accusation and hard to believe, unless you give us a reason to believe it.


A "fatal incident of domestic violence" is a HOMICIDE. In other words, she is alleging that someone was killed during a domestic violence incident, and when it was called in it took the sheriff's office "nearly an hour" to respond??? THAT is a blatant lie, not a mistake. Police IMMEDIATELY respond to those calls using lights and sirens ... they don't wait "nearly an hour" to respond. There is NO place in Frederick County that is so rural that it takes "nearly an hour" to get to using lights and sirens, especially in the ALLEGED incident that she claims occurred.


what an ignorant hostile load.


Very persuasive letter.[thumbup]




Appreciate the desire to find common ground and to recognize that sometimes justice is not truly found in the law. The writer seems to imply that local officials should somehow reign in the Sheriff. This is flawed. County officials have no control over the Sheriff. Citizens need to hold the Sheriff accountable. He is an elected official and is accountable to voters..


And the voters routinely re-elect him.

Obviously, the majority like what he is doing.


Thank you.


Nice try on leading us into a a more conservative direction but you show your ignorance when you (being a liberal) just have to mention the Fredrick Sheriff's Office. You contradict yourself if you want to obey the laws but forget that thats what that office is doing. But nice try.


Oh? Then how come Roxana Santos won a civil suit against the sheriff, not just once, but multiple times?




Won a civil case...... The burdon of proof is almost non existence. Most of you folks like to jump on the band wagon just to whine. Where is the outrage for our young brown and black children being incarcerated at staggering rates in all of Md, including Frederick. 70% of Marylands inmates are brown or black. Care for the illegals is fine. Its the blatant disregard for legitimate citizens that is the problem.


"Nattering nabobs of negativism".... This is how I see secpol's response to this letter. The letter writer is looking for "common ground" while secpol is well, just common.


No, olefool, sepcol is uncommon, thank God!

Ellen Lerner

I don't think this is about being a liberal or a conservative -- I think it is a rightful effort to change the paradigm by trying to find what we can all agree on, and politics is not what we can agree on. What I hope we can agree on is that we all love our children and want the best for them. We should want the best for ALL children, because they are all ours in the end -- they are our future,one and all. Your children will affect my children and vice versa. Children who have been forcibly separated from their families are rightfully traumatized,with little knowledge of the effect of trauma on their future lives. So tell me,how do you want the world to be for children? As for the Sheriff? Yeah.... he has to be mentioned - racism MUST be called out, over and over again. It's the only nonviolent way to address it. He is a known racist, accepting funds from racist groups. He is a pawn of these groups, being used to promote their agenda. They are taking advantage of this one aspect of him, making him into a caricature of who he might otherwise be. I pity him.This has nothing to do with the law, nor with conservative or liberal leanings. The letter is correct - it is about what we want for ourselves and our children's future - ALL our children.


When we first moved here a decade ago via long periods of time living in MoCo and Howard County, Sheriff Jenkins was holding a series of Town Hall meetings around the County promoting the 287(g) Program to stop the wave of Illegal Aliens invading Frederick County that I had heard about since moving here. A little concerned, I attended one to hear the Sheriff’s presentation. I was shocked, I had never heard such a blatant example of hate-mongering against the alleged invasion of illegal aliens. By the time the Sheriff finished, the crowd was afraid to go out to the parking lot for fear of getting murdered or raped. “Who is this Guy”....??? We only moved 50 miles, why had we never heard about this before?? My introduction to Chuck Jenkins, I never became a fan!


Before you moved here, before Trumpkins got sheriff, when Trumpkins first campaigned, he promised to, and I quote verbatim, to, “go after the aliens”. Yes, “aliens”. That is how he saw it, and how he still sees it.

He was overly excited when the 287 program came about. It was his opportunity to glisten. His tool for roundin em up. His dream come true. He was on a roll.

And then, god introduced Trumpkins to his worst nightmare. Roxana Santos. Santos, a person of a token group that Trumpkins so passionatly despised, yet the group that boosted his ego, came at him with fire. Santos was as relentless to Trumpkins as he was to her people. She had Trumpkins cryin all the way back to mama. She embarrassed him. And she brought to light the trouble that accompanied 287 because Trumpkins abused the program.

Never. Forget. Trumpkins and his 287 cost the county a lot of money. Which is why, the case has a gag order.


And, as always, you offer no proof there was a "payout'. So, tell us how much it was, KA.


More nonsense and a complete misunderstanding of the letter writer's intent by secpol...



Actually the Frederick Sheriff’s office was found guilty of not obeying the law, by the courts. That’s why the Santos ruling was in her favor, and the county must pay restitution for their wrongdoing - ‘not obeying the law’.

You do understand that left the county on the hook for recompense. Right?


There is no evidence of what that payout may have been. Maybe it was nothing.

Maybe she got awarded one dollar.

You don't know. KA doesn't know. I don't know. Unless you (or KA) has some "inside knowledge", you cannot make claims that woman got anything. I doubt either of you do.

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