ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — A group of Maryland senators has re-introduced legislation that would require local officials to honor federal immigration detainers and provide at least three days’ notice before a person is released from a local correctional facility.
Senate Bill 332 tasks state and local jails and prisons with honoring immigration detainers the same way as other requests from federal law enforcement officials.
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Republican Sen. Justin Ready, who represents portions of Carroll County, said the bill would address a public safety problem created by so-called sanctuary counties’ decisions to not honor detainers from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.
“These practices go far beyond simple ‘sanctuary’ policies for undocumented but otherwise law-abiding people. By not holding those with an ICE detainer, by not cooperating with federal authorities, jurisdictions engaging in these policies shield dangerous individuals unlawfully residing in our state,” Ready said in a news release.
An identical bill introduced in the Senate during the 2017 session failed to reach a second reading.
Amid rumored nationwide immigration enforcement raids last year, Baltimore City Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said it’s not his department’s policy to ask about a person’s immigration status.
“Immigration is for federal enforcement and those authorities should do that,” Harrison said. “That is not for local law enforcement, and our policy is built on that and we stand and make that commitment to our community.”
If passed, the bill would take effect in October.