Md. official won’t back immigration bills

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ROCKVILLE, Md. — “We do it the right way.”

That’s how Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner puts it when referring to striking the balance between public safety and maintaining good relations with the county’s immigrant community.

That’s why he’s not a supporter of twin bills in the Maryland General Assembly that would bar state and local governments from cooperating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

When Montgomery County has someone in its jail that has committed a violent crime and ICE comes knocking, Berliner said, the county holds that person and works with the federal agency.

Under the Trust Act filed in Annapolis, that would change.

But the way Berliner sees it: “We have a responsibility to public safety, and we have a responsibility to hold our community together. We do it the right way.”

“The Trust Act as introduced went far beyond that,” he said. “It said you can’t cooperate no matter what. That’s not who we are.”

Recently, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett also said that the current county policies should remain, and that he would not back the bills in Annapolis.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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