CASA congratulates Howard County Council on passage of the Liberty Act
For Immediate Release: December 8, 2020
County Trust Legislation limits collaboration between ICE and County Agencies
Ellicott City, MD – With the passage of CB-63 by a vote of 4-1, Howard County takes a strong step forward in solidifying its position as a welcoming county for immigrants. The legislation, introduced by Council member Opel Jones, and supported by Council members Liz Walsh, Deb Jung, and Christiana Rigby, restricts county agencies from inquiring about immigration or citizenship status and limits collaboration between county agencies and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“We congratulate Howard County Councilmembers for embracing immigrants and rejecting overreach by a federal agency that has a long and sordid history of civil and human rights abuses,” said Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA, “We look forward to our state legislators following the lead of Howard County in 2021 to pass similar legislation solidifying the state of Maryland as a welcoming place for immigrants.”
The legislation comes on the heels of several months of public debate about the county’s Intergovernmental Services Agreement (IGSA) with ICE, and similar administrative policies issued by the County Executive and Howard County Department of Corrections limiting the scope of the IGSA.
“I feel very happy that this legislation passed because now other immigrants in Howard County will not suffer the same anxiety that I have,” said William Garcia-Trejo, a CASA member and immigrant dad who was transferred into ICE custody by Howard County Corrections officers earlier this year. “Nobody should have to suffer as a result of an injustice. I feel happy my case inspired change so that what happened to me won’t happen again to others.”
With over 100,000 members across the states of Maryland, Virginia, and South Central Pennsylvania, CASA is the largest member-based Latino and immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region. CASA organizes with and litigates on behalf of low-wage immigrants. Visit us at www.wearecasa.org and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall.