Howard County Council Candidates on Immigration
Do you think all Howard County departments should have a written, public policy on staff interactions with immigrants? If so, which languages would your first priority for translating the documents?
Yes, Howard County should have a written, public policy preventing staff from inquiring about immigration status in order to protect immigrants. While a policy would be a good step, a law would be better as policies can change at any time. To better aid residents who speak English as a second language the county should support document translation for Spanish, Korean, and Chinese languages. We should also work with tele-interpretation on an as-needed basis to go beyond documents and assist residents with their needs.
Under what circumstances should HoCo police and sheriff’s department cooperate with ICE?
County employees should not be enforcing federal immigration responsibilities and they should ensure that every person has the right to due process.
Would you like to see CB-9 (the Howard County “sanctuary” bill) come before the County Council again after the next election?
Yes, CB-9 would have codified protections for victims of crime and strengthened county policy in regards to immigration status. I would work closely with my colleagues and immigrant groups toward a version of CB-9 that had broad based support from undocumented communities and that was drafted through a collaborative effort with various stakeholders.
Should the County Council pass a measure prohibiting HoCo from entering into 287(g) agreements with ICE?
Yes, the County Council should pass a measure prohibiting Howard County from entering into 287(g) agreements with ICE. County employees should not be deputized to perform federal duties and should be focused on local issues. I would actively oppose entering such an agreement.
What could be done to improve HoCo services to immigrants?
Howard County can improve our immigrant services through increased funding for organizations like FIRN that work closely with the immigrant community. The county should implement policies that foster an environment where immigrants (regardless of status) feel welcome when interacting with county employees at any time.
I would look to similar jurisdictions that have outstanding commitments to cultural outreach and implement best practices when working with immigrant communities in Howard County to promote inclusion, and involvement in the government process.