Leg­is­la­tors dis­ap­prove Kamenetz’s im­mi­gra­tion or­der

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: GIANNA DECARLO gde­carlo@ches­pub.com KEVIN KAMENETZ

Last week, Bal­ti­more County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kamenetz signed an ex­ec­u­tive or­der that for­mal­ized po­lice pol­icy on un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants in Bal­ti­more County.

The or­der was drafted, Kamenetz said, in re­sponse to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s re­cent crack­down on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion and At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions’ threats to with­hold money from state agen­cies who do not abide by Trump’s im­mi­gra­tion or­ders.

“As an at­tor­ney, I am con­fi­dent that the Pres­i­den­tial ef­fort to in­ves­ti­gate and de­tain im­mi­grants is con­trary to the Con­sti­tu­tion, and Bal­ti­more County will not dis­re­gard the law pro­tect­ing in­di­vid­ual rights,” said the County Ex­ec­u­tive.

The or­der signs into law that po­lice can­not pro­file res­i­dents based on their im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus. A county po­lice of­fi­cer can­not ask about some­one’s im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus just to ini­ti­ate civil en­force­ment of im­mi­gra­tion pro­ceed­ings un­less

there’s a crim­i­nal war­rant for that per­son, it states.

“The Pres­i­dent’s di­rec­tives are caus­ing fear and panic among other­wise law abid­ing res­i­dents. I am par­tic­u­larly con­cerned about the im­pact on chil­dren, and the chill­ing ef­fect that is im­pact­ing pro­duc­tive po­lice-com­mu­nity relations. Chil­dren are afraid to go to school, women are afraid to re­port do­mes­tic abuse, and fam­i­lies are afraid to seek med­i­cal care in a hospi­tal out of the fear of de­por­ta­tion. We won’t let that hap­pen in Bal­ti­more County. To­day’s Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der will make that crys­tal clear,” said Kamenetz.

The text of the or­der states that its goal is to en­sure all res­i­dents must feel safe to co­op­er­ate with Bal­ti­more County Po­lice Of­fi­cers to re­port crimes and of­fer as­sis­tance in re­solv­ing crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity, re­gard­less of their sta­tus.

The de­ci­sion in­voked ire from lo­cal leg­is­la­tors, many of which have protested against mak­ing Bal­ti­more County a “sanc­tu­ary city”.

“Our state has be­come a Dis­ney­land for il­le­gals who are re­ceiv­ing free rides and ben­e­fits. State tax­pay­ers are forced to pay over a bil­lion dol­lars to ed­u­cate, med­i­cate, and in­car­cer­ate the so-called new Mary­lan­ders. Bal­ti­more County, which is suf­fer­ing from de­clin­ing neigh­bor­hoods and grow­ing poverty, has be­come a vic­tim,” said Del. Pat McDonough (R-7).

McDonough, who is run­ning for the County Ex­ec­u­tive po­si­tion that Kamenetz will va­cate in 2018, said that if he is elected he would abol­ish all sanc­tu­ary poli­cies and work closely with Fed­eral Im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties.

“The age of amnesty, pro­moted by Pres­i­dents Obama, Bush, and Clin­ton, has fi­nally come to an end. There is a new sher­iff in town who will en­force the law,” said McDonough.

“The move to make Bal­ti­more County, a sanc­tu­ary county, is dan­ger­ous. I have been fight­ing ef­forts it in the Se­nate from Mary­land be­com­ing a sanc­tu­ary state. Re­fus­ing to al­low state and lo­cal law en­force­ment to co­op­er­ate with fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties in en­forc­ing the na­tion’s im­mi­gra­tion law is break­ing the law,” said Sen. Johnny Ray Salling (R-6).

Del. Bob Long (R-6) called the ex­ec­u­tive or­der a po­lit­i­cal move by Kamenetz and started a pe­ti­tion on his web­site call­ing for op­po­si­tion to this pol­icy.

“I op­pose Kevin Kamenetz’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der that pro­hibits county law en­force­ment from in­quir­ing about the im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus of il­le­gal felons. We need to iden­tify and no­tify I.C.E. about il­le­gal felons that are drug deal­ers, rapists, mur­der­ers, etc. Pro­tec­tion of our com­mu­ni­ties is left up to elected of­fi­cials and this is a bad pol­icy,” said Long.

“These sanc­tu­ary poli­cies will har­bor those that vi­o­late the law and pro­mote law­less­ness,” said Del. Robin Gram­mer (R-6).

“I do not and will not stand be­hind sanc­tu­ary state laws. Or­ders like this hand­cuff those the po­lice of­fi­cers and other law en­force­ment agents from pro­tect our com­mu­ni­ties,” said Del. Ric Met­z­gar (R-6).

The or­der out­lines that those who are cur­rently held in jail can­not be held past their re­lease date ab­sence the ex­is­tence of a court or­der signed by a ju­di­cial of­fi­cer. It also states that these con­di­tions can­not be con­strued to pro­hibit any Bal­ti­more County Po­lice Of­fi­cer from co­op­er­at­ing with fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties in the investigation and ap­pre­hen­sion of un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants sus­pected of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

The Bal­ti­more County Po­lice Chief Ter­rence Sheridan said that or­der will not change much with his depart­ment’s polic­ing, as of­fi­cers typ­i­cally don’t ask about a per­son’s im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus.

The plan took ef­fect im­me­di­ately af­ter Kamenetz’s sig­na­ture.

Kamenetz is re­port­edly eyeing up a gu­ber­na­to­rial run against Gover­nor Larry Hogan, who had re­cently op­posed Mary­land as a sanc­tu­ary state, say­ing that he would veto a bill that would cod­ify Kamenetz’s po­si­tion across the state.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.