Dignity Not Detention Act

Bill status: Passed!

It’s time to restore trust between law enforcement and the immigrant community. Maryland Legislators must override the Governor’s veto so that families can regain their trust in emergency services

Earlier this year, the Maryland legislature overwhelmingly passed the Dignity Not Detention Act (HB16), the bill that would help protect immigrant families in the state of Maryland. Despite the bill receiving widespread support Governor Hogan still vetoed it. 

The Dignity Not Detention Act will keep ICE and its contractors out of Maryland, protecting immigrant communities that have been, and can be, impacted by ICE’s inhumane detention center practices. 

In the upcoming Maryland special legislative session, Maryland lawyers now have the chance to right the wrongs made by the Governor and override the veto. Maryland must promise to protect the people who call it home by keeping ICE outside of Maryland and preventing families from being separted and forced to live inhumane conditions. 

The Dignity Not Detention Act would do the following:

Prohibits state or local governments from entering into new agreements to detain immigrants. 

Prohibits police from coercing, intimidating or threatening an individual based on their perceived or actual immigration status or that of a family member.

Ends existing agreements between counties and ICE to detain immigrants effective October 2022


Prohibits state or local governments from entering into new agreements to detain immigrants. 

Right now, Maryland doesn’t currently have any private prisons. The possible jail in Baltimore County, and the proposal for a jail in Sudlersville were just ideas, but proof that the threat of detention center expansion is constant. The law HB16 is a proactive step to ensure that those ideas don’t become reality, that no place in Maryland has to sell out to a private prison company just to stay afloat.