MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. – A coalition of grassroots progressive organizations wants Montgomery County to protect immigrants from law enforcement overreach and to safeguard community policing practices built on trust among residents.

Members from nearly two dozen organizations gathered today to voice support for a measure that would foster more openness between the immigrant community and police, ensure Montgomery County does not participate in an unconstitutional federal registry, and save local resources by ensuring the county stays out of immigration enforcement.

“Montgomery County should be a place where we welcome those seeking refuge.  Here we should protect people who want to work and contribute,” said Gustavo Torres, CASA’s Executive Director. “That is why we are spearheading this effort to pass a Montgomery County Trust Act to protect all immigrants. This law is so important.Other members of the coalition talked about the importance of the law.”

Fatmata Barrie, from Africa Immigrant Caucus, talked about the difficult situation black immigrants face when they interact with the police. “It is imperative we pass this #TrustAct.”

“There should never be a situation where people are afraid to call the police to help,” said Alan Bowser of Safe Silver Spring.

Montgomery County Council President Hans Riemer gave has early support during the press conference today.

Other groups involved in the effort include: American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, Safe Silver Spring, Jews United for Justice, the Montgomery County Young Democrats, Progressive Maryland, Montgomery County Civil Rights Coalition, DMV Sanctuary Congregation Network, Undocublack Network, UFCW Local 400, SEIU 32 BJ, SEIU Local 500, Takoma Park Mobilization, Justice and Advocacy Council, Montgomery County/Washington Archdiocese, Showing Up for Racial Justice Montgomery County,  African Immigrant Caucus, Indivisible 14, Do the Most Good – Montgomery County,  PMD Montgomery, Progressive Action Montgomery, African Immigrant Caucus, Asian Americans Advancing Justice