Coun­cil Repub­li­cans un­veil im­mi­gra­tion leg­is­la­tion plan

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By MIA MCCASLIN mm­c­caslin@ches­pub.com

On Tues­day, April 18, Bal­ti­more County Coun­cil mem­bers Todd Cran­dell (R-7), Wade Kach (R-3), and David Marks (R-5) an­nounced plans to in­tro­duce

two leg­isla­tive ac­tions fo­cus­ing on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion and pub­lic safety.

Cran­dell an­nounced that these leg­isla­tive ac­tions were not be­ing taken as a di­rect re­sponse to County Ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Kame­nentz’s April 5 ex­ec­u­tive or­der declar­ing Bal­ti­more County a “sanc­tu­ary county” af­ter the “sanc­tu­ary state” bill failed in the state leg­isla­tive term. Kame­nentz’s or­der pro­hibits county law en­force­ment from in­quir­ing about the im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus of any­one they en­counter.

The first piece of leg­is­la­tion, which will be spon­sored by Cran­dell, calls for more reg­i­mented de­por­ta­tion of those who are il­le­gally in the coun­try and who have served time at a Bal­ti­more County De­ten­tion Cen­ter af­ter a con­vic­tion.

The pro­posed leg­is­la­tion cites sec­tion 287(g) of the Im­mi­gra­tion and Na­tion­al­ity Act, cre­ated by the Il­le­gal Im­mi­gra­tion Re­form and Im­mi­grant Re­spon­si­bil­ity Act of 1996.

Ac­cord­ing to the United States Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment (ICE) web­site, “The 287(g) pro­gram, one of ICE’s top part­ner­ship ini­tia­tives, al­lows a state or lo­cal law en­force­ment en­tity to en­ter into a part­ner­ship with ICE, un­der a joint Mem­o­ran­dum of Agree­ment (MOA), in or­der to re­ceive del­e­gated author­ity for im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment within their ju­ris­dic­tions.

Ac­cord­ing to Cran­dell, the dep­u­tiz­ing of of Bal­ti­more County po­lice of­fi­cers would be es­sen­tially cost­less, as the fed­eral govern­ment pro­vides both the train­ing and equip­ment needed for this process.

If passed, lo­cal po­lice would be al­lowed to part­ner with ICE, but only af­ter they have com­pleted a train­ing reg­i­men hosted in North Carolina.

With seven to­tal coun­cil mem­bers, the trio needs one more vote on their side to send the bill to County Ex­ec­u­tive Kamenetz; they would ide­ally pre­fer the sup­port from two other coun­cil mem­bers in or­der to over­ride a veto if need be.

“The issue of safety is not a par­ti­san one,” Cran­dell said on re­ceiv­ing sup­port from other coun­cil mem­bers.

The sec­ond bill in the leg­isla­tive packet will be spon­sored by Kach, and it concerns mak­ing a pro­gram called “E-ver­ify” manda­tory within the county.

E-ver­ify is an online data­base that in­stantly reviews the el­i­gi­bil­ity of po­ten­tial em­ploy­ees. While this pro­gram is uti­lized, it is not manda­tory there­fore not en­tirely ef­fec­tive as a data­base.

“We need to make a sys­tem where people don’t fall through the cracks,” Kach said. “[This leg­is­la­tion] pro­tects busi­nesses and pro­tects jobs for those who are in our coun­try legally.”

Marks added that both Anne Arun­del and Har­ford coun­ties are al­ready re­quir­ing the manda­tory use of “Ever­ify.”

The coun­cil mem­bers an­nounced that they were re­leas­ing their in­ten­tions two weeks in ad­vance of the fil­ing date so that both them­selves and their op­po­nents have the op­por­tu­nity to do their due dili­gence with their re­search.

PHOTO BY MIA MCCASLIN

Three of the seven mem­bers of the Bal­ti­more County Coun­cil hosted a press con­fer­ence to pre­view two leg­isla­tive ac­tions prior to their of­fi­cial in­tro­duc­tion date on May 1. From left to right: David Marks (R-5), Todd Cran­dell (R-7) and Wade Kach (R-3).

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