Civil Rights, Labor, Immigrant and Muslim Advocates Slam Maryland Governor Larry Hogan For Promised Veto to Trust ActPosted March 22, 2017 /
Civil Rights, Labor, Immigrant and Muslim Advocates Slam Maryland Governor Larry Hogan For Promised Veto to Trust Act
ANNAPOLIS, MD (March 21, 2017) Ten civil rights and labor organizations slammed a decision by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan today to veto the TRUST Act, which passed the House of Delegates yesterday with overwhelming support and seeks to draw a firm line between local police and federal immigration enforcement and protect Marylanders from federal discrimination on the basis of religion and more.
Governor Larry Hogan doubled down on his support of President Donald Trump and his unconstitutional and failed policies of attacking immigrants, Muslims and refugees in complete opposition to Marylanders’ desire to uphold the values of inclusion and diversity that are at the center of the Maryland Trust Act.
In aligning his administration with that of Donald Trump, Hogan has sent a message to hard-working immigrants, Muslims, and others who have been targeted by federal entry bans, heightened immigration sweeps, and family separation that they have no friend in the Governor of Maryland.
“We are living in an era in which ICE is terrorizing, racially profiling and conducting targeted enforcement in the heart of our immigrant communities,” said CASA’s Executive Director Gustavo Torres. “We must ensure that our local law enforcement plays no part in facilitating that.”
For Muslims, who have experienced the single most concentrated instance of religious bias through an unconstitutional travel ban that created chaos at airports and brought out tens of thousands of supporters in protest, the passage of the Trust Act would go a long way to ease tensions.
“The Trust Act is a non-negotiable moral imperative for the people of Maryland, that regardless of how they came to be here, there are welcome, loved and the bedrock of our free society,” said Hamza Khan, from the Muslim Democratic Club of Montgomery County. “The governor has denigrated over 400 years of Maryland tradition as a welcoming place to all those seeking better lives on our shores with his statement.”
As passed by the House of Delegates, the Trust Act would protect all Marylanders by encouraging closer cooperation between law enforcement and the immigrant community by eliminating immigrants’ fear that a call to the police could result in deportation. It does not alter the normal operations of the criminal justice system and indeed would increase the willingness of victims and witnesses to come forward. Other critical provisions would outlaw the use of state resources to create bias-based federal registries and create guidance to ensure that schools, hospitals, and courthouses remain as secure as possible from immigration enforcement.
“Constitutional protections extend to everyone in the U.S., regardless of citizenship, and this bill clarifies the public safety roles of local and state law enforcement by eliminating incentives to discriminate against individuals based on race, religion, national origin, and other protected classes,” said Nick Steiner, Legal and Public Policy Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland. “Law enforcement should not unconstitutionally detain Marylanders simply because ICE requests it and Maryland should not be in the business of creating registries based on religion.”
The Trust Act has been supported in the legislature by more than 65 organizations including organizations that support victims like the Women’s Law Center, diverse immigrant and civil rights organizations including the Korean American Society of Maryland, the Organization of Chinese Americans, and the Maryland Conference of the NAACP, and three legislative caucuses representing People of Color in Maryland. In committing to veto the Trust Act, Governor Hogan flies in the face of faith, civic, and labor organizations that represent millions of Marylanders.
“By following Donald Trump’s un-American and systematic attempt to criminalize immigrants, Governor Hogan is leaving all Marylanders less safe and wasting precious taxpayer dollars,” said Jaime Contreras, Vice President for 32BJ SEIU.
Hogan has taken this action despite the fact that Marylanders have been on the frontline of resistance to the Trump agenda, showing up at airports and protests in the tens of thousands and even serving as plaintiffs in IRAP v. Trump, one of the more than dozen lawsuits that have now been filed across the country challenging his executive orders on immigration as unconstitutional.
“Rather than heed the calls of his constituents,,” said Kamal Essaheb, policy director for the National Immigration Law Center Immigrant Justice Fund. “Governor Hogan is making it easier for the president’s mass deportation blueprint to be enacted here.
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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.