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CAIR Welcomes Baltimore Mayor’s Statement to DHS Secretary Expressing Support for Immigrants, Refugees

CAIR logo(Washington, D.C., 1/12/16) – The Maryland Outreach Department of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today welcomed Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's strong statement of support for the area's immigrant and refugee population. 

SEE: Immigration Enforcement Effort Sparks Fear in Md. 

In a letter addressed to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Mayor Rawlings-Blake requested details of media reports that indicate DHS has stepped up a campaign to deport some 100,000 recent arrivals to their country of origin. She wrote:

“As the Mayor of a jurisdiction with a vital and growing immigrant and refugee community, I have great concerns about the rumors that are swirling around many of our neighborhoods, and I hope that you can provide clear facts to help me try to address some of the fears that have emerged.”

This letter was sent last week after fears and anxiety sparked by raids in which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently took 121 people into custody, as well as increased reports of visits paid by immigrant agents in communities throughout Maryland. 

The Mayor has been hailed as a champion of immigrant and refugee rights, and has specifically requested Homeland Security to commit to avoid raiding schools, bus stops, churches, grocery stores, and such areas. 

She wrote: “I urge you to remember that many of the families who have recently moved to our city are fleeing some of the most violent countries in the Western Hemisphere. The conditions of these countries merit a compassionate and appropriate response.”

“Especially during these times of certainty and heightened anxiety, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has reaffirmed her commitment to protecting Baltimore's vulnerable populations of refugees and immigrants,” said CAIR Maryland Outreach Manager Zainab Chaudry. 

Recently Baltimore City police officers joined legal experts and immigration activists at a “Know Your Rights” town hall in Baltimore to encourage communities to not allow fear to prohibit them from reporting crimes. Police Commissioner Kevin Davis recently submitted a statement to Mayor Rawlings-Blake pledging the police department's “continued allegiance to working with the City of Baltimore to serve the diverse needs of its multicultural communities.”  

          

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

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