Maryland law enforcement’s participation in the federal government’s Secure Communities program is under consideration in the Maryland House of Delegates. The program relies on local and state police departments to send fingerprints of arrestees to the federal government to identify and deport illegal immigrants.
According to Maryland Reporter, one bill, introduced by Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery County), would prohibit local law enforcement from detaining possible illegal immigrants for the sole purpose of giving the Department of Homeland Security time to check their status.
Another bill, introduced by Del. Patrick McDonough (R-Baltimore County), would make it mandatory for law enforcement to do just that.
Gutierrez’s bill would limit the deportation of illegal immigrants who haven’t been convicted of a crime. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland says that 43 percent of those the Secure Communities program has deported have no criminal record.
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