The DC Examiner reports that the two opposing sides of the immigration ordinance enforcement issue in Maryland are squaring off. The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking information about immigration related ordinances in 23 different counties in Maryland. They want information about every publicly enacted ordinance or internal policy that directs police, social services agencies, real estate agents, landlords and local employers to classify or treat people differently due to immigration status. So far, ears are perking up over ordinances in Anne Arundel County, Frederick County and Gaithersburg.

Meanwhile, Help Save Maryland founder and president, Brad Botwin tracks every move the ACLU makes and has filed a “piggyback” request to be copied on all information given to the ACLU. The ACLU suggests that many of the ordinances are racial profiling. Botwin doesn’t see it that way.

Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold forbids contractors to hire illegal immigrants to work on county projects, and police in Frederick County have been trained to enforce federal immigration laws. In Gaithersburg, City Council members passed an anti-solicitation ordinance two years ago that made looking for work or workers along city streets a misdemeanor, a move some complained targeted immigrant day laborers. Last spring, Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler said the rule ran afoul of the First Amendment and Maryland’s vehicle laws and city leaders began exploring other options.

ACLU attorney Ajmel Quereshi has stopped short of saying the ACLU will sue the various counties over their immigration ordinances. However, the possibility does loom over any ordinances or resolutions that exist in Maryland. It sounds like the ground work is being laid for potential costly lawsuits.

Is Prince William out of the woods on potential lawsuits? Is our Immigration Resolution too toothless to appear on the ACLU radar screen? Has it all ended for Prince William County because of the exceedingly awful economy and real estate market? Has the huge story of 2007 about the nation’s leader, Prince William County ended, not with a bang but a whimper? Any bang heard seems to be another foreclosure door closing and our tax base dropping even more.

18 Thoughts to “Maryland Immigration Issues Continue to be Probed”

  1. Chris

    Lawsuits are NOT the answer. Resolutions and policies are needed at the local level so ICE can know where the illegal aliens are. Afterall, it’s local and state police doing the arresting. Therefore, the question needs to be asked by law enforcement and including the jails at the local level. Needless to say the resolutions and laws can not racial profile. Immigration remains a problem, but given the current economy ,immigration is sure to be sitting on the back burner for awhile. I will still continue to write and contact my elected officials at all levels, and encourage our existing laws be enforced until there’s reform of the current immigration laws.

  2. IVAN

    CIR is coming down the road. Let’s hope they get it right so everyone can operate under one uniform policy.

  3. JustinT

    I agree. Comprehensive Immigration Reform is coming. I hope these jurisdictions in Maryland can avoid being sued. If we could just take race out of the issue somehow, we wouldn’t need to litigate, we could simply legislate to fix our immigration laws.

  4. TDB

    Who is injecting race? I submit to you that YOU are injecting race. It just so happens that hispanics, because of proximity, are the predominant offenders of our immigration LAWS? So, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck….

  5. Moon-howler

    Our immigration laws are such a hodge-podge of goodbledegook no one really knows what they say. Our current laws are inconsistent and encourage violation.

    What we don’t need is for our local law enforcement to have to play cops and robbers with illegal immigrants. That is federal responsibility. Should we arrest those who commit crimes? Abso-effen-lutely. Should we (local LEOs) go rounding up people just because they are not in status. No way.

  6. TDB

    No one is advocating a round up!! But, if you come in contact with law enforcement (other than a victim or as a witness), then I expect to have the immigration status checked. Where’s the problem?? Our immigration laws are not a hodge podge, they are written as all of our laws are written. Very carefully!

  7. JustinT

    TBD said:

    It just so happens that hispanics, because of proximity, are the predominant offenders of our immigration LAWS? So, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck….

    Perhaps that’s true in Texas and California, but here in Virginia the majority of undocumented people came here on work or student visas that have now expired. They come from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. I know two undocumented people who are nannies from Scandinavia!

    The fact that you are so focused on “hispanics” tells me that you see the issue as a race issue when really it’s just a matter of getting our federal bureaucracy to work properly.

  8. JustinT

    TBD said:

    if you come in contact with law enforcement (other than a victim or as a witness), then I expect to have the immigration status checked. Where’s the problem??

    There’s a big problem, TBD. A big problem. That’s why your demigod Corey Stewart voted with a unanimous Board of Supervisors NOT to check the immigration status of any person police officers encounter on the street. If they check every person they see, we’ve got a police state on our hands. We’ve got every day citizens delayed on their way to work or on their way home because of immigration status checks.

    If they only check the people who look like immigrants, then we’ve got racial profiling law suits which could go all the way up the Supreme Court. And, if the public perceives the police as engaging in racial profiling as a matter of course, then the police will be less able to do their REAL job, which is keeping us safe.

    No one would report crimes. No one would talk to the police if they had the kind of reputation that the anti-immigrant weirdos wanted them to have. We’d all be less safe.

  9. TDB

    Justin you’re a hoot. Who in the hell said anything about roadblocks or police just randomly approaching someone on the street??? Did you not read my entire comment? Okay, un más tiempo: If an individual comes into contact with law enforcement (i.e., you are arrested or are being held in police custody) your immigration status will be checked. No one is advocating subjecting a witness or a victim to immigration checks.

  10. Tuscadero

    According to the ACLU website, “The ACLU believes that the U.S. immigration system is broken and it is the federal government’s responsibility to fix it. That is why our project will fight against local government initiatives that threaten public safety by targeting immigrant communities for dragnet detentions and harassment.”

    The ACLU is correct.

    No one wants security threats in our country. Most will agree that the borders need to be secured and criminal deported. Most people will agree that immigrants, no matter what their status, need to be identified. But they also need protection from persecution. They also need a way to fix their paperwork. As it stands, our government does not provide a way for immigrants, even those partially enmeshed in the system, to accomplish this. Thus immigrants are vulnerable to the worst in our country.

    These people get the press and the bully pulpit. They encourage profiling and fear tactics. They are the ones who make us hated throughout the world.

    Immigrants are not the problem. Fear, racism, hatred and ignorance exist among every race. Our government needs to eliminate the source of the problem by providing equitable, compassionate, fair safety measures. It starts with immigration reform, long overdue.

  11. Jo Anne

    Immigrants are not the problem. Illegal Aliens are. Legal immigrants, do not live in fear of being deported. They are not breaking the law. The only thing, that needs to be done to fix the illegal immigration issue, is complete local, state and federal enforcement networking. Illegal Immigration is organized crime and the new bigotry. Just like our federal, state and local enforcement agencies worked together, to fight the Mob, they must do the same, to fight Illegal Immigration. Crime is crime. U.S. citizens have to obey our laws, if we do not, we are punished to the fullest extent of those laws. Yet, Illegal Aliens and their supporters in crime, feel as if, this particular group of criminal, should be given a free pass, like we gave them in 1986.

    The reason we have 20,000,000 Illegal Aliens in our country, is because we rewarded bad criminal behavior, back in 1986, with the first Amnesty. We were told, then, it would be the last one, ever. When you reward bad criminal behavior, you get more of the same. We cannot have anymore Amnesties (Codewords: Comprehensive Immigration Reform).

    Anyone in this country, illegally, must leave. We owe illegal aliens nothing. They owe us, each and every single U.S. citizen, an apology, then they must leave.

    We have absolutely no reason to reward foreign nationals, for breaking our laws. Illegal Alien parents, must start teaching their children, who is responsible for their parents illegal situation. We have a whole new generation of school children, those of Illegal Alien parents, being taught, that it is okay to break the law and then, not be punished. Every time ICE, rounds up and deports Illegal Aliens, Illegal Aliens and their supporters in crime, blame everyone else, but themselves, the criminals.

    No one separates Illegal Aliens from their children, when they are deported. They are allowed to take their children with them. It is the total fault of the Illegal Alien parents, the trauma their children suffer, because of their illegal entry, into our country.

    We are not a nation of immigrants. We are a Sovereign Nation, with 305,000,000 U.S. citizens, who have the same Equal Rights, as Mexico and the rest of the world, to determine who comes and goes in our country.

    We must send a clear message to the rest of the world, our U.S. citizens and our U.S. children, come before them. It is no ones Human Right to enter another country, illegally. It is a crime, that comes with a punishment and that punishment is, deportation.

    Every job, an Illegal Alien holds, is a job, an U.S. American citizen should have. If Illegal Aliens have the right to break our laws to survive, it will not be long, before we start breaking our laws, to survive, in our country. Illegal Aliens are a threat to everything we stand for. The Rule of Law. Personal responsibility.

  12. Moon-howler

    TDB, then please explain to me why, in 1994, if you were married to an American and out of status, you could get status adjustment. In 2005, you could not get an adjust ment in status if married to an American. Have the laws changed? No. What has changed?

    There are more visa types and how immigration is actually implemented that you can shake a stick at. Our laws are written carefully? I hope that was a joke.

  13. Moon-howler

    TDB, one more thing, and I do not speak for all, just most here at anti: no one has a problem with those arrested having their immigration status checked, and if not here legally, notifying ICE. We are speaking of supposed criminals now, not jaywalkers or other red herrings–honest to goodness real crime.

  14. M-H,

    You continue to live in denial if you think jaywalkers and mothers caught speeding won’t be checked and deported.

  15. JNR

    I have a question. Will the ACLU target those local communities that offer sanctuary to illegal aliens? The ACLU has targeted those communities that seek enforcement against illegal aliens, saying immigration is a federal problem and local governments overstep their bounds when they get into what they (ACLU) percieve is a federal issue. So what about local jurisdictions that have sanctuary policies? Are those jurisdictions, such as Takoma Park, Maryland, oversteping their bounds when they inject themselves into immigration policy?

  16. JNR

    Mexico has an Cabinet level office of Migration. Through this office, the government of Mexico encourages illegal immigration to the United States. Because of the high cost of illegal immigration, should the United States stop all foreign aid to Mexico to help off-set the costs engendered by illegal immigration?

  17. Moon-howler

    I would need to see some documentation before I can respond to that question. When I do things blind I always end up in trouble.

  18. Moon-howler

    Joanne, that is a lofty set of feelings there but I don’t think on a practical level there is much you can do.

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