TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)– Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz is coming to the aid of immigrants as he signed a new order prohibiting County police officers from asking anyone’s immigration status.
Kamenetz says he hears stories every day about parents who are afraid to take their children to school or others who are afraid to go to hospital for medical treatment.
He says it’s the government’s job to protect them called President Donald Trump’s behavior “unconstitutional.”
“This is important for the immigrant community who are really in fear,” Kamenetz said.
In addition of County officers not being able to question the immigration status of anyone they encounter, they also will not detain anyone beyond their court ordered release date, unless they have a detainer issued by a properly recognized judicial official.
It’s an attempt to build trust between the community and police.
“We think that will result in better policing and that’s our objective here,” Kamenetz said.
The new order comes at a time when some have criticized Gov. Larry Hogan for not speaking out against Trump’s controversial policies.
Kamenetz is considering a run against Hogan come 2018.
“This is really the time for leaders to be heard and really stand up for people who are otherwise afraid,” Kamenetz said.
While Kamenetz executive order has gained a lot of support, sheriff’s in Harford and Frederick Counties have spoke out against similar ideas.
“Certainly puts our citizens at greater risk, danger and public safety,” said Harford County Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler.
He says it’s crucial it is for illegal immigrants to be held accountable.
“Those individuals, many being convicted violent criminals, are going to be released back out into our streets and into your counties and into our communities,” said Frederick County Sheriff Charles Jenkins.
Trump’s Administration has threatened to hold federal funding from so-called sanctuary cities.
Kamenetz says that’s money is used for senior citizens and veterans and he will challenge any effort to hold that funding in court.