FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Prince George’s County Unanimously Passes Community Inclusiveness Bill
Activists Applaud Bill that Protects Immigrant Families and Promotes Trust
Prince George’s County, MD – Today, the Prince George’s County Community Inclusiveness bill passed the County Council by a vote of 11 to 0. Initial Sponsor Deni Taveras and Co-Sponsors Calvin Hawkins, Jolene Ivey, and Tom Dernoga, were joined by the remainder of their colleagues in cosponsoring the bill. Together, all eleven members of the Prince George’s County voted to approve a critical protection that will prevent cooperation between Prince George’s County Departments and ICE for the purposes of civil immigration enforcement.
“We’re incredibly grateful for the unanimous support of the Prince George’s County Council and look forward to discussing these critical protections with the County Executive,” said CASA’s Executive Director Gustavo Torres. “This legislation once again cements Prince George’s County’s role in advancing civil and human rights for its residents.”
The legislation will ensure that immigrant communities can engage with County departments, including public safety departments, with assurance that such engagement will not be used to assist any civil immigration enforcement or federal discriminatory practice.
“I know that I am on the radar of ICE, even though I have no criminal record. I’m so nervous about seeing any kind of authority. By passing CB-62, I know that in Prince George’s County I can go about my day – working, taking care of family – without constantly fearing the police is working with ICE,” said Jhonny Umana.
Similar protections have already been adopted in nine municipalities in Prince George’s – Berwyn Heights, Brentwood, Cheverly, Colmar Manor, Edmonston, Forest Heights, Greenbelt, Hyattsville, and Mt. Rainier. Versions of these protections exist in Annapolis, the City of Baltimore, Baltimore County, Gaithersburg, Montgomery County, and Rockville.
In addition to CASA, the legislation was supported by various Prince George’s organizations including the ACLU of Maryland, the Prince George’s Branch of the NAACP, the Prince George’s County Education Association, Life After Release, the Prince George’s Peace and Justice Coalition, Greenbelt People Power, Progressive Maryland, the Liberian Community Association and Turner Memorial AME Church.