IMMIGRANT JUSTICE

Maryland State

When strangers reside with you in your land, you shall not wrong them. The sojourners who reside with you shall be to you as your citizens; you shall love each one as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

– Leviticus 19:33-34

All people have a right to be safe and to thrive in our state, regardless of immigration status or documentation. Our tradition teaches that it is our responsibility to welcome migrants. Jews have had to flee in order to save our lives and the lives of our children many times in our history, and have been seen as foreigners in the places we have called home for centuries. We understand what drives migrants to come here, and the consequences of being targeted as outsiders and feeling unsafe in our own communities. We must end state government collaboration with ICE, prevent the use of private immigration detention centers, and protect the private data of undocumented Marylanders.

The People: Undocumented Marylanders, their families, and our communities as a whole. 

The Legislation:

  • Dream Act Expansion:
    • On January 30, both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly voted to override Governor Hogan’s veto of the expanded Dream Act, so that undocumented Marylanders have access to affordable public higher education in the state of Maryland.
  • Police and Correctional Facilities Trust Act – SB901 (JPR):
    • Nobody should worry that interacting with corrections and police might get them handed over to ICE. Our state tax dollars should not go towards the enforcement of unjust federal immigration policies.
    • SB901 is sponsored by Senator Will Smith (Montgomery County).
  • Police Only Trust Act – HB388 (JUD):
    • People should feel safe interacting with police officers without having to fear detention or deportation.
    • HB388 is sponsored by Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk (Prince George’s & Ann Arundel County).
  • Dignity not Detention – SB850 (JPR)/HB677 (JUD):
    • Immigrant detention is inhumane. Yet, there are counties with contracts to detain immigrants for ICE and ICE is actively working to build a private detention center in Maryland.
    • We must end Maryland’s participation in this cruel system that is killing people and tearing families apart.
    • HB677 is sponsored by Delegate Vaughn Stewart (Montgomery County) and SB850 is sponsored by Senator Charles Sydnor (Baltimore City).
  • MVA Privacy – SB649 (JPR)/HB892 (ENT):
    • Maryland granted drivers licenses to undocumented residents with assurances that their information would not be used against them. Yet, the Motor Vehicle Administration’s database and records can be and are searched by all federal law enforcement agencies, including ICE. This bill would prohibit ICE from accessing MVA records for civil immigration enforcement purposes.
    • Maryland should uphold its promise that private records won’t be used against undocumented residents.
    • HB892 is sponsored by Delegate Dana Stein (Baltimore County) and SB649 is sponsored by Senator Clarence Lam (Baltimore and Howard Counties)
  • We are also supporting a funding request (not legislation) that would provide legal representation for all people awaiting deportation hearings who cannot afford a lawyer.

Key Partners: CASA, ACLU, Congregation Action Network, Do the Most Good, State Immigration Justice coalition

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