City prosecutor memo: Think twice when charging illegal immigrants with minor crimes
BALTIMORE (WBFF) -- Baltimore city prosecutors have new instructions to follow when considering filing charges against illegal immigrants.
The directive is outlined in a memo that Fox45 obtained. Chief Deputy State's Attorney Michael Schatzow sent the memo to staff last week, urging prosecutors to think twice before charging illegal immigrants with minor, non-violent crimes.
"That's absolutely appropriate," said Doug Colbert, a professor at the University of Maryland Law School, who's weighing in on the matter.
Schatzow said when handling those cases, prosecutors need to consider potential consequences, including people who won't report crime because if the increased enforcement of immigration laws.
Some legal observers, including Colbert, agree with the measure while others say the directive gives a "free pass" to the guilty offenders.
"It's not unusual to give people a so-called free pass in order to prosecute the more serious crime," said Colbert. "So, Schatzow is saying to the people, hey folks, make some good decisions here because we're losing them as witnesses," he added.
A statement released from City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in part: the instruction is just to ensure that there are minor consequences for minor crimes.