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CAIR Applauds Baltimore County Executive’s Action Supporting Immigrant Communities

CAIR logo(BALTIMORE, MD, 4/5/17) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz for issuing an executive order that affirms the county’s commitment to immigrants, diversity, public safety, and ethical policing standards. 

SEE: Kamenetz issues executive order on immigration, diversity, equity policing standards

The order, which went into effect immediately, prohibits county police from unlawfully profiling county residents’ immigration status, and the unlawful detention of any individual past their release date without a “judicial order of detainer.”

At a Wednesday morning press conference and signing of the order, County Executive Kamenetz noted:

“[President Trump’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.”

He criticized U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ pledge to withhold federal funds from state and local governments that don’t comply with President Trump’s executive orders, citing the Tenth Amendment which he said “prohibits the federal government from withholding funds to coerce counties to conform to federal policies unrelated to the appropriation.”

“Today’s signing of the Executive Order is a clear indicator that County Executive Kamenetz is on the right side of history,” said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry, who joined coalition partners including CASA Regional Director Elizabeth Alex at his side as he made the announcement. “Many law-abiding Baltimore County residents – including U.S. citizens – will feel less afraid because of their race, religion, ethnicity, or immigration status. The arc of the moral universe can only bend towards justice with the support of courageous elected leaders like him.”

A statewide bill, the Maryland Trust Act – designed to promote public safety; prohibit local law enforcement officers from enforcing federal immigration laws; and discourage local and state agencies from submitting data that could potentially be used for a federal registry – has passed the House and is currently awaiting to be scheduled for a hearing in the Maryland Senate.

That legislation – which has been criticized by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Maryland Senate President Thomas Miller, and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan – is widely supported by civil and immigrant rights groups. 

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry, 410-971-6062zchaudry@cair.com

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