I joined with the Latino and Asian caucuses along with other colleagues, and working together we took a stand against the Trump Agenda and its misguided efforts to break up families and disrupt communities in the name of national security. Together we let immigrant communities throughout the State know that we stood with them in our strong support of the Maryland Trust Act.
Ever since the beginning of the Trump administration, immigrant communities have been living in fear. This legislation would have worked to protect Maryland’s 911,582 foreign-born residents, who comprise over 15% of our state’s population, and to protect the safety, educational opportunities, and well-being of their families and our communities.
Unfortunately, the Governor continues to push the false narrative that this bill interfered with the ability of state and local law enforcement to work and cooperate with federal law enforcement authorities. Yet nothing in the Trust Act would have precluded local law enforcement from investigating and prosecuting a criminal act. The bill would simply have protected immigrants from being stopped, arrested, searched, or detained solely to investigate an immigration violation. It would help restore trust within the immigrant community and ensure that individuals feel comfortable enough to reach out to local and state law enforcement for help or to report a crime. It is important to make clear that this this bill would not alter the criminal justice system from running its normal course when an actual crime has been committed.
The House passed this legislation, but unfortunately the Senate did not. Given the current political climate, I remain committed to this effort to protect the rights of immigrants, religious minorities, and people of color.