CASA Urges Howard County Council to Pass Bill Barring Discrimination Against Immigrants

Posted February 2, 2017 /

HOWARD COUNTY, MD (FEBRUARY 2, 2017) _ CASA emphatically urges Howard County Council to stand up for the values of inclusion and opportunity and pass a bill barring discrimination against immigrants, considering County Executive Allan Kittleman’s long history of sponsoring failed anti-immigrant legislation at the state level.
It is critical, in this current political climate, that Howard County codify its longstanding practice of not discriminating against undocumented immigrants simply because of their legal status.

The legislation introduced by council members Calvin Ball and Jen Terrasa,
would codify existing county practices that prohibit local law enforcement agencies from gathering information about citizenship status and explain when to cooperate with federal law enforcement.

A statement or resolution describing a vague policy does not carry the protection of law and cannot be relied upon given Kittleman’s troubling past record on immigration issues.

Kittleman, who served in the Maryland Senate for 10 years from 2004 to 2014, has repeatedly taken positions that are counter to Howard County’s longstanding practices of welcoming immigrants and which go against the values of this community. He simply cannot be trusted on issues of immigration.

  • Kittleman/Trump: In 2008, then Senator Kittleman was the primary sponsor of legislation that would cut off state funding for counties and municipalities that bar local police from providing information for the purposes of civil immigration enforcement. Not only does this mean that Kittleman took active and negative leadership on the very issue being debated in Howard County now, it also clearly aligns him with the very first acts of President Trump. Like Kittleman, Trump committed to cutting off federal funds from localities that establish so-called “sanctuary city” policies and indeed one of his first Executive Orders attempts to do just that, a move that many legal scholars have argued violates the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution.
  • In 2009, Kittleman co-sponsored a statewide bill that would prohibit the Motor Vehicle Administration from issuing a new driver’s license to individuals who could not provide specified documentation certifying they were in the country legally. The bill died without a vote.
  • In 2011, Allan Kittleman voted against the Maryland DREAM Act, which allows Maryland immigrant students to attend community college and university at in-state rates if they satisfy rigorous conditions including multiple years of income tax filings to the state. Among the numerous weakening and unsuccessful amendments that Kittleman supported, he sought to restrict access to students who had filed an application for permanent residency, a move that would have made the law meaningless to the vast majority of students. The measure was petitioned to referendum in 2012, where Howard County residents voted in favor of immigrant students by a wide majority, rejecting the position of then Senator Allan Kittleman.
  • As Senator, Kittleman took special leadership in advancing changes to the workers’ compensation system that would make undocumented immigrants ineligible for workers’ compensation insurance benefits when they are injured on the job. While those proposals were luckily unsuccessful, they would have, if approved, given a free pass to employers who almost always knowingly hire undocumented immigrants and expose them to on-the-job risks sufficiently severe that such workers have the highest employment-related injury rates in the country.
  • As recently as 2013, Kittleman voted against the Maryland Highway Safety Act (SB715) which allowed immigrants who had paid income taxes to the state to drive legally, with road training and insurance coverage.

During these contentious times and with his track record of targeting undocumented people during his tenure as a state legislator, it is imperative that Howard County courageously stand up for the values that are central to the county and the state: embracing immigrants and their contributions.

CASA is a Latino and immigrant organization and a national leader in building power and improving the quality of life in low-income Latino and immigrant communities. Its vision is for a future in which diverse and thriving communities live free from discrimination and fear, and work together with mutual respect to achieve full human rights for all. Over its 30-year history CASA has established itself as a strong national leader in innovations for Latino and immigrant-focused services, and backbone organization for collective impact involving community-based, government and private partners.

 

PRESS RELEASE
CONTACT FERNANDA DURAND
fdurand@wearecasa.org
Cel. 240.706.2624
ERIKA HERNANDEZ
ehernandez@wearecasa.org
Cel. 301.717.4492