130+ Organizations Call on President Ferguson’s Leadership to Pass the Trust Act

March 24, 2021 

Dear President Ferguson, 

We, over 130+ organizations, faith groups, and unions, write to you, calling your leadership to bring the Maryland Trust Act (SB88/HB304) for a vote in the Judicial Proceedings Committee and through the Senate for passage. 

Earlier this session, we watched you share your powerful remarks in the Senate chamber in support of extending the Earned Income Tax Credit to all Maryland taxpayers. You spoke of your friends, your neighbors, the people you care about and work with on a daily basis, fellow residents of the State of Maryland, many of whom have suffered harder and deeper than any group in the State.1 Right now, your friends, neighbors, people you care about and fellow Marylanders are calling on your leadership again to pass the Trust Act this session. We, too, believe that “the biggest threat to the American Dream is the sense of the other” and immigrant families for too long have been treated not only as the other, but as less than human. 

As you are aware, advocates and tens of thousands of immigrant families have been fighting for a statewide trust policy to keep law enforcement from partnering with ICE for over a decade. In this challenging moment for all Marylanders, immigrant families are enormously impacted by the pandemic and suffering tremendously. The racist and unlawful targeting of immigrant families by law enforcement now has higher stakes than ever before. 

Communities nationwide have passed and implemented various community trust policies – several of them right here in Maryland, including Baltimore City. To date, thirteen municipalities and four counties2 in Maryland have passed community trust policies3. As the national movement to make our communities safer through these policies grows, and the support across Maryland grows – we believe there is no greater time for the General Assembly to pass this critical bill. In addition to this bill being a long standing priority of the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus, it has gained the support of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus and Maryland Legislative Asian American & Pacific Islander Caucus. 

Support has also grown across our community. This bill is a top priority of the leading Catholic and other faith advocacy organizations in Annapolis, and is strongly supported by the leading civil rights organizations and unions. More than one hundred individuals and organizations testified in favor at the committee hearing, with little opposition, dominated by recognized hate groups.4 Data shows that community trust policies result in less poverty and less unemployment5– but also, an increase in public safety.6 

It is your constituents like Yovani, and his mother Nora, who have been driving the fight for the Trust Act to pass. Yovani who is only 15 years old and his siblings have now faced life separated from their mother for more than a year and a half. Nora, who was transferred to ICE by police after her car broke down7– spent almost a year in ICE detention where she faces unspeakable horrors that she has testified to many times. After being deported to El Salvador, she has still called in to advocate for the passage of this legislation because she believes no other family should suffer as she did. These are your constituents. 

With just weeks before Sine Die, we ask that you act with urgency to take the necessary steps to ensure the General Assembly does not go another year without passing the Trust Act. We have the veto-proof majority to drive this bill forward – and you have our collective unwavering support behind you. Immigrant families can not wait any longer. We need your leadership now, more than ever. 

Respectfully, 

1199 SEIU 

32BJ SEIU 

ACLU of Maryland 

Adhikaar 

ADL Washington, DC Region 

African Communities Together 

Asian Americans Advancing Justice 

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Maryland 

Ayudante Network 

Baltimore Asian Resistance in Solidarity 

Baltimore City Green Party 

Baltimore County Progressive Democrats Club 

Baltimore for Border Justice 

Baltimore Women United 

Beth Am Social Action Committee 

Boys to Men 

Calvert PRISM 

Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition 

CASA 

Casa Baltimore Limay 

Catholic Charities of Baltimore 

Catonsville Indivisibles 

Cecil Solidarity 

Center for Popular Democracy 

Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility 

Citizens Policing Project 

Clinicians for Progressive Care 

Columbia Jewish Congregation 

Conexiones 

Congregation Action Network 

Cooperative Housing University of Maryland 

Council on American-Islamic Relations 

Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries 

Doctors for America – Maryland Chapter 

Doctors for Camp Closure Maryland Chapter 

DoTheMostGood 

Equity Matters 

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 

Filbert Street Garden 

Foreign-Born Information and Referral Network 

Franciscan Action Network 

Frederick County Curious Taxpayers 

Friends of Latin America 

General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church 

Glenmont United Methodist Church 

Greenbelt People Power 

Greenbelt Racial Equity Alliance 

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) 

Howard County Coalition for Immigrant Justice 

Hyattsville Mennonite Church 

Immigrant Justice Corps 

Immigrant Justice Ministry of Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church 

Immigration Outreach Service Center 

IMPACT Silver Spring 

Indivisible Central Maryland 

Indivisible Howard County 

Indivisible Montgomery 

Indivisible Worcester Maryland 

Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington 

Jews United for Justice 

Kent and Queen Anne’s Indivisible 

Latino Racial Justice Circle 

Liuna Local 11 

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus 

Making Changes 

Mama’s Bailout 

Maryland Against ICE Detention 

Maryland Alliance for Racial Equity in Education 

Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights 

Maryland Center on Economic Policy 

Maryland Legislative Coalition 

Maryland United for Peace and Justice 

Maryland United for Peace and Justice 

MoCoWoMen 

Montgomery County ACLU 

Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition (MCCRC) 

Montgomery County Democratic Socialists of America 

Montgomery County Progressive Asian American Network 

Montgomery County Women’s Democratic Club 

Mothers on a Move 

Mount Rainier Organizing for Racial Equality 

Muslim Voices Coalition 

NAACP Maryland State Conference 

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland 

National Immigrant Justice Center 

National Immigration Law Center 

New Ways Ministry 

Nigerians in Frederick 

Organization of Chinese Americans DC 

Organizing Black 

Our Revolution Howard County 

Our Revolution Montgomery County Chapter 

Our Revolution Prince George’s 

PG Change Makers Coalition 

Power Inside 

Prince George’s County Education Association 

Prince George’s Peace and Justice Coalition 

Progressive Maryland 

Progressive Montgomery 

Public Justice Center 

Resources for Immigrant Support and Empowerment (RISE Coalition) 

Sanctuary DMV 

Schools Not Jails 

Seekers Church 

SEIU Local 500 

SEIU Maryland & DC State Council 

Showing Up For Racial Justice of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County (SURJ3A) Sisterhood of Salam Shalom Silver Spring 

Sisters of Mercy – Justice Team 

Southern Christian Leadership Conference Prince George’s 

St. Vincent de Paul Peace & Justice Committee 

Strong Schools Maryland 

SURJ Baltimore 

SURJ MOCO – Showing Up for Racial Justice Montgomery County 

SURJ3A 

Takoma Park Mobilization 

Talking Drum Incorporated 

Teens For Justice Prince George’s County 

The Latino Democratic Club of Montgomery County 

The Moonseed Collective 

Transit Immigrant Assistance Silver Spring 

UndocuBlack 

Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry 

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400 

United We Dream 

UU Legislative Ministry of Maryland 

Vera Institute of Justice 

Washington County People’s Alliance 

Women Indivisible Strong Effective 

Young Democratic Socialists at the University of Maryland 

1 https://www.facebook.com/BillForSenate/videos/4029584163763840

2 Localities: Annapolis, Berwyn Heights, Brentwood, Cheverly, Colmar Manor, Edmonston, Forest Heights, Greenbelt, Hyattsville, Mount Rainier, Riverdale Park, Rockville, Takoma Park; Counties: Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Montgomery, Prince George’s.

3 Not including Anne Arundel County. Anne Arundel County ended their 287g program in 2018. Anne Arundel County’s Intergovernmental Service Agreement (IGSA) ended in 2019. 

4 The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), one of leading voices of opposition, has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/federation-american-immigration-reform

5 https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/immigration/reports/2017/01/26/297366/the-effects-of-sanctuary-policies-on-crime-and-the-economy/

6 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2018/04/24/sanctuary-cities-dont-breed-crime-they-encourage-people-to-report-crime/

7 https://www.baltimoresun.com/politics/bs-md-ice-local-law-enforcement-20190305-story.html 

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