WASHINGTON — Two Howard County, Maryland, council members have sponsored a bill that would prevent police and sheriff’s deputies from inquiring about someone’s immigration status — unless they were investigating a crime that had been committed.
The bill sponsored by council members Calvin Ball and Jen Terrasa would also apply to school officials, for example.
Council member Calvin Ball said he was moved to craft the legislation after hearing from residents who were brought to the United States as children but didn’t have legal status. Among those Ball said he’s heard from are “College students who’d gone through the Howard County Public Schools — they were concerned about being targeted because of their immigration status. And when I hear stories like that, I just feel compelled to stand up for them.”
Ball said he does not oppose the enforcement of immigration laws — he just thinks that the local government should not be performing a role assigned to the federal government. “The federal government should follow the federal law. My job as a Howard County council member is to help with Howard County laws.”
“We are currently reviewing the legislation with the departments and offices that would be impacted to understand its full implications for County government and residents,” said County Executive Allan H. Kittleman.
The bill, CB9-2017, is being introduced to the full council. Hearings on the bill are scheduled for later this month.
Read a copy of the proposed bill: