Op-ed: Immigration screenings at jails in Baltimore County will weaken public safety

Indivisible Towson member Peta N. Richkus writes an op-ed in The Towson Flyer opposing Baltimore County Council Bill No. 32-17, which would require that the county join the federal program 287(g) to screen people detained in county jails for their immigration status and cooperate with ICE authorities in any potential deportation efforts. He argues that by undermining the relationship between the communityand law enforcement, this bill would weaken public safety:

“The proposed bill to deputize County corrections employees as federal immigration enforcement officers does not enhance public safety. It is, in fact, deleterious to public safety by undermining the trust and cooperation of the community:

The Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), a group of police chiefs from the 64 largest police departments in the United States and Canada, found that “without assurances that contact with the police would not result in purely civil immigration enforcement action, the hard-won trust, communication and cooperation from the immigrant community would disappear.”

Councilman Crandell says “(The bill) is common sense public safety,” but public safety depends on the cooperation of the community – including immigrants, most of whom are here legally – in solving all sorts of crimes and in the maintenance of public order.”

You can read the full op-ed here.


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