Council Republicans unveil immigration legislation plan
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.
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).