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 be your first priority for translating the documents?
Yes. I do. It should be crystal clear that any Howard County employee is prohibited from enforcing immigration law. The first languages that come to mind: Spanish, Hindi, most prevalent Chinese language in Howard County, and Korean.
Under what circumstances should HoCo police or the sheriff’s department cooperate with ICE?
Law enforcement is not the local arm of ICE. There have been documented cases of ICE officers violating their own polices and going “rogue” in order to apprehend innocent undocumented immigrants and tearing families apart, instead of focusing on convicted criminals and those who are a danger to their communities. I am not a proponent of law enforcement and ICE cooperation under the current anti-immigrant climate.
Would you like to see CB-9 (the Howard County “sanctuary” bill) come before the County Council again after the next election?
Yes. CB9 would have prevented Howard County employees including the police and sheriff’s departments from enforcing federal immigration laws. In this anti-immigrant climate, we need strong laws preventing such actions by local law enforcement and public employees.
Should the County Council pass a measure prohibiting HoCo from entering into 287(g) agreements with ICE?
Yes. Howard County police and sheriff’s departments should be focused on community policing. This makes our neighborhoods safer by building relationships between law enforcement and the communities they protect. Local law enforcement should not get into any agreement with the Federal government to enforce immigration laws.
What could be done to improve HoCo services to immigrants?
Increase funding to organizations such as FIRN. Improve coalitions among local human rights, advocacy and non-profit organizations such as NAACP, IndivisibleHoCoMD and other local grassroots, IONHoCo, hccan-do (Chinese American community), Korean American community, CAIR, Howard County Muslim Council and many others. This builds stronger communities and support systems. Increase oversight and follow-up on the goals and mission of the OneHoward initiative.