posted on June 14, 2010 14:42
On June 14th, The Baltimore City Council overwhelmingly approved a resolution opposing a federal immigration enforcement initiative, the so-called “Secure Communities program.” Citing the city’s rich immigrant history and recent progress in fostering trust between local law enforcement and immigrant communities, the resolution decries the federal program’s record; citing statewide data that over 60% of those deported under the program to date are “non criminals” – a far cry from the purported intent of the program to target enforcement resources on violent criminals.
Baltimore is the second local jurisdiction in Maryland to pass resolutions opposing the program, amid a wave of opposition to the deeply flawed immigration enforcement program. In recent weeks the governors of Illinois, New York, and Massachusetts have declared their opposition to the program, and the California legislature is considering legislation that would allow local jurisdictions to opt out of the program
“We all want safer communities. But this program would only erase years of efforts by our police officers and community members to build trust in immigrant communities, making all of us less safe,” said Baltimore City Hispanic Commission Chairman Nicolas Ramos, Sr. “On behalf of the Baltimore City Hispanic Commission, we commend the City Council for taking leadership on this issue.”
The council’s opposition to the Secure Communities program comes amidst a wave of local and state elected officials expressing frustration with the program and calling on the federal government to put a halt to the program. The resolution was introduced by Councilmember Jim Kraft, representing Baltimore’s first district, and passed with overwhelming support from the council.
Baltimore Hispanic Commission Members:
Nicolas Ramos, Sr., Chair
Ana Maria Caballero Schwartz
Hon. Rochelle “Rikki” Spector
Rev. Robert Wojtek, C.S.S.R.
Dr. Santiago Solis