(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/12/17) – The Council on American Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today decried the Maryland State Senate’s stripping down, and eventual withdrawal, of the Maryland TRUST Act.
The bill had been advocated by religious, immigrants and civil rights organizations – including CAIR, CASA, and the ACLU of Maryland. The original version of the TRUST Act was designed to provide some measure of protection for immigrant and Muslim communities from unconstitutional and unethical federal policies from the current administration.
Dozens of activists, immigrants’ rights advocates and volunteers – galvanized primarily by CASA – worked for months to rally support for the bill, which passed the House in a watered-down form, but stalled in the Senate after pushback from Senate Committee Chair Bobby Zirkin and Senate President Thomas Miller, among others.
The bill had been perceived as a symbolic form of political resistance by many Democratic lawmakers. CAIR submitted both written and oral testimony in support, as well as entering into the record some 1,000 letters on behalf of area Muslims to state lawmakers.
“While we didn’t see the outcome we desired on this bill, we are inspired by the unprecedented collaboration between Maryland’s diverse communities and lawmakers,” said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Dr. Zainab Chaudry. “We thank all of our allies – particularly at CASA – and the cosponsors and lawmakers in both chambers of the legislature who backed the TRUST Act.”
Chaudry noted that Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz deserves praise for recently signing a pro-immigrant executive order prohibiting that county’s law enforcement from inquiring about residents’ immigration status.
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.
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