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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Howard County a "Sanctuary County?"


    Recently Howard County Councilpersons Ball and Terrasa introduced legislation designating Howard County as a "sanctuary county."  So what does that really mean?  A sanctuary community is one that has policies or laws that limit the extent to which law enforcement and other government employees will go to assist the federal government on immigration matters.  With the new Trump administration this question and movement should accelerate around the United States in liberal political areas like Howard County.  How much this impacts the enforcement of immigration laws is subject to legitimate debate.  In some way designating a community as a sanctuary is a symbolic statement about the community's values.  Here is link to legislation.  For those of us disappointed with the results of the November election and wondering how we can respond to the direction the new administration may take on immigration the designation of our County as a sanctuary is one direct way to respond.  Even if it is symbolic it is another way to commit our County to the values that make Howard County a progressive and welcoming place to live.

    Here is the schedule for the legislation:

1) Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 7pm: Legislative Session
Bill is publicly introduced

2) Tuesday, January 17 at 7pm: Legislative Public Hearing
Hearing for testimony from the public

3) Monday, January 23 at 4:30pm (CVG Room): Work Session *Tentative

4) Monday, February 6, 2017 at 7pm: Legislative Session
The Council will vote on the Bill

      I know those opposed to the sanctuary movement suggest that it is a way for immigrants who have committed crimes to prey on communities but let's look at the reality and not the rhetoric.  Here is the reality:

    "According to an original analysis of data from the 2010 American Community Survey (ACS) conducted by the authors of this report, roughly 1.6 percent of immigrant males age 18-39 are incarcerated, compared to 3.3 percent of the native-born. This disparity in incarceration rates has existed for decades, as evidenced by data from the 1980, 1990, and 2000 decennial censuses. In each of those years, the incarceration rates of the native-born were anywhere from two to five times higher than that of immigrants."
    "The 2010 Census data reveals that incarceration rates among the young, less-educated Mexican, Salvadoran, and Guatemalan men who make up the bulk of the unauthorized population are significantly lower than the incarceration rate among native-born young men without a high-school diploma. In 2010, less-educated native-born men age 18-39 had an incarceration rate of 10.7 percent—more than triple the 2.8 percent rate among foreign-born Mexican men, and five times greater than the 1.7 percent rate among foreign-born Salvadoran and Guatemalan men."



Pat Zimmerman said...

Liberals in Howard County are taking this too far. Already our schools are grossly overcrowded, traffic is a nightmare and with the cost of housing, who is going to pay for all of this? Are they going to live off our county and government money? Who is paying for their medical care etc.? I respect liberal and conservative points of view but this idea is indeed over the line!

David said...

Congratulations Howard County. If passed you allow Hispanic gangs like MS13 and 18th Street to take root in your community. There was an article let recently how Howard County was the number 3 richest community in the United States. You can kiss that goodbye. GNG graffiti, initiations in public parks, increased drug/sex trafficking will do wonders for your property values

duanestclair said...

Gangs come in all forms and nationalities. No gang is good but to label a portion of our community as being represented by gang members is unfair. None of us should be grouped in broad terms with any violent element of our community.

John S said...

JUST SAY NO! Come here legally or go to prison. Since it is okay for our governments to decide which laws it is to enforce is it okay for me to decide to stop paying taxes?

TrulyDaft said...

What about losing federal funding? Who knows what type of impact this may have for legal citizens of Howard County that use housing vouchers for instance. What about funding for homeless shelters and advocates, such as Grass roots??? If funding is cut, this could result in families losing their homes, or chance of even getting a home. Then we have people potentially living on the streets, but illegal undocumented citizens will treated as priority? And how does this work?? I am totally against it. I love people of all colors, races, religions etc, but I don't believe honest people should be punished by having federal funding cut, for those who are dishonest! My mother worked to do things the right way, she passed away while waiting for a green card,living in the U.K. Even though marriage to her previous husband (now a Vietnam vet) granted her full citizenship, she would have never dreamed after they divorsed of just living under the radar! Why should others have it easy, when hell some African Americans are still treated like strangers in certain parts of the country.
Yes I agree Howard county is a melting pot of all cultures and people's. But the immigrants of this county have worked hard to live here as American citizens. We are sending a message that it is ok to be dishonest. We welcome all here in Howard County. We pride ourselves on shunning racism,homophobia,sexism, classism. If you are undocumented, then you are illegal no matter what race or color, point blank period.

duanestclair said...

Almost all federal funds that come into Howard County come through the State of Maryland and not directly to Howard County. State agencies have developed funding criteria for allocating funds to Baltimore and the Maryland counties. That criteria varies with different state agencies. I am not sure that Maryland would be forced to eliminate funding to a sanctuary community. I wouldn't be surprised that this type of issue would end up in the courts. Our federal courts should be very active the next few years. The Trump Administration may find out that using federal funds as a club is trickier than they realize.