Clarence Lam

State Senator District 12

Indivisible Howard County/Immigration Action Team Candidate Questions

Several important bills about immigration failed to pass the State Legislature in the 2022 session. 

We are interested in whether you will support these or similar bills if they are introduced in 2023.  

Are you will to work with immigration support advocates to co-sponsor/champion any of these or similar bills? Will you work to convince your colleagues to vote in favor?

Yes, I will work with immigration support advocates on these and similar bills.  I have done so in the past and will continue to advocate for these policies.  That’s why I’ve earned the endorsement of CASA again for the upcoming election.  I am willing to work to convince my colleagues to vote in favor of these bills.  Regarding the last bill you listed—the Access to Care Act, I was the primary sponsor of that bill, and I intend to sponsor that bill again next year.  

  1. (HB559/SB265 2022) Probation before Judgment (PBJ) -Probation not Deportation. For US citizens, probation before judgement allows a judge to strike a conviction and impose probation instead. However, for non-US citizens the current MD PBJ statute is still considered a conviction and can result in arrest and deportation via the Immigration and Nationality Act.

HB559/SB265 would provide judicial safeguards for non-US citizens, allowing our immigrant neighbors to live without the fear of deportation and family separation that federal law imposes because of the current PBJ statute. HB559 passed the Maryland House but did not get voted on in the Senate.  

  1. (HB114/SB129) Access to Counsel in Immigration Proceedings would create a legal representation program for detained Marylanders facing deportation and ensure their right to counsel. 
  2.  (HB1035/SB728) Access to Care Act This bill will ensure that all income-eligible Marylanders can purchase health insurance through the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, regardless of immigration status.