Immigration Concerns Raised After Md. High School Rape

At least one student accused in the rape had entered the country illegally.
Published: March 28, 2017

The rape of a student at Rockville High School March 16 has some residents in the Maryland community calling for school districts to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Citizens of Montgomery County expressed frustration after a meeting with district and local police officials March 21 about school security.

In the meeting, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack Smith told attendees the district was unsure which students lacked citizen documentation and that officials could not deny students an education based on their criminal record.

The meeting was scheduled for officials to address citizen concerns following the rape of a 14-year-old female student in a boys’ bathroom. The victim was allegedly pushed into the bathroom by two classmates and raped repeatedly, reports WTOP.

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At least one of the students accused in the rape, 18-year-old Henry Sanchez-Milian, had entered the country illegally and had been questioned by Texas Border Patrol last year. It is unknown if the other accused student, 17-year-old Jose Montano, entered the country illegally because he is a minor.

Neither of the students had a criminal record or had faced discipline at the school.

Officials emphasized the security measures in place at Rockville High School in the meeting, including:

  • There are five full-time security officers at the high school and a sixth will be hired next year
  • There are 105 video surveillance cameras installed in the high school, although they are not monitored in real time.  More cameras may be added next year
  • The high school has a closed campus during lunch hours and Principal Billie-Jean Bensen wants more staff members monitoring lunch
  • Bensen is asking teachers to check bathroom passes if students go missing for more than five minutes

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency lists Montgomery County among the jurisdictions that have limited cooperation with the agency. County officials, however, said they would cooperate fully with the ICE in the rape case.

Campus Safety has reported on multiple school districts, localities and university systems that have declared they will limit their cooperation with federal immigration officials.

Read Next: Conn. Officials Look to Protect Students from Immigration Raids

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