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In order to ensure that detained illegal aliens have legal representation, the city of Baltimore has established a fund to provide for their defense, Democratic Mayor Catherine Pugh recently announced.

Less than a year after Baltimore prosecutors ordered staff not to charge illegal aliens with minor, non-violent crimes because it might result in the deportation of offenders, a spending panel approved $200,000 to pay for attorneys to represent illegal aliens living in the city who have been detained by federal authorities.

Baltimore currently has the highest per capita homicide rate in the nation and was the deadliest city in the United States on a per capita basis in 2017, according to Judicial Watch.

Even so, the city has allocated the money for the legal defense of illegal aliens, with half of the funds coming in the form of a grant from the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York nonprofit, and the other half from the city’s budget. Combined, the money is expected to fund immigration appeals for approximately 40 people.

According to Pugh, the fund was established to help ensure that detained Baltimore residents have legal representation, regardless of their immigration status.

“We hope that everyone gets due process,” Pugh said.

The U.S. Constitution does not guarantee legal representation for people in civil immigration proceedings, as it does for criminal defendants.

Pugh’s office contended that the legal defense fund for illegal aliens is needed to protect certain Baltimore residents from the Trump administration’s aggressive enforcement policies against illegals. The attorneys will be provided by the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, said Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs Director Catalina Rodriquez Lima.

“The current immigration policies have disrupted our communities — including families, schools and workplaces,” Lima said. “Due process and fair representation will help reduce fear and disrupt the ripple effects of deportation in our families.”

In addition to Baltimore, two Maryland counties — Montgomery and Prince George’s — offer sanctuary to illegal aliens. Following the Trump administration’s announcement that it intended to enforce immigration laws, Pugh declared that police and other public agencies in Baltimore would never ask detainees about their immigration status.

“We are a welcoming city,” Pugh said. “We want everyone here. We want to be able to provide opportunities and jobs and careers for folks. That’s where we are in Baltimore.”

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