Maryland lawmakers pass bill to curb immigration enforcement

© Reuters. Maryland lawmakers pass bill to curb immigration enforcement

(Reuters) – The House of Delegates of Maryland on Monday approved legislation to prohibit police from around the state to check the immigration status of people they arrest or keep them locked up longer than is justified at the request of federal agents They seek to deport them.

The state Senate in Annapolis, which like the lower house of the General Assembly is controlled by Democrats, has not yet considered the bill, and Republican Gov. Larry Hogan issued a statement vowing to veto the measure if it came to pass. his desk.

“This legislation would interfere with the ability of state and local law enforcement to cooperate with federal law enforcement authorities,” Hogan said.

Supporters say the measure, which passed the House of Delegates with a largely partisan vote of 83-55, is designed largely to maintain the trust of immigrant communities in government agencies and local police.

It would prohibit state and local law enforcement officers from detaining, arresting, searching, or detaining a person for the purpose of alleged immigration violations.

It would also prohibit police from complying with administrative “detention” requests from federal immigration authorities seeking to keep incarcerated people in custody after they should otherwise be released on bond.

Other provisions would require the state attorney general to issue guidelines to public schools, courts, and hospitals on limiting immigration enforcement in those locations. And it would restrict the use of state funds to create a registry of people based on their immigration status, nationality, religion or ethnic origin.

The measure follows in the footsteps of dozens of municipalities and local jurisdictions across the country that have declared themselves “sanctuary cities,” including San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington.

So far no such designations have been enacted statewide.

Republican President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January seeking to withhold federal funds from local governments that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

At the time, he said that local jurisdictions put American citizens at risk by releasing criminals who should be deported and that, in some cases, they commit additional crimes after being released from jail.

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