State Legislative Candidates on Immigration

The Immigration Team sent immigration questionnaires to all candidates for the State Senate and House of Delegates from Howard County Districts 9, 12, and 13. Below are the responses we have received.

State Senate, District 12

Clarence Lam

 Do you favor a bill that would make clear that immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility and that local law enforcement resources are best used in dealing with local crimes?

 Yes. 

Are there actions that Maryland could take at the state level to help immigrants, refugees, and separated migrant families feel safer and less isolated in their homes and communities? 

 Yes.  For example, I supported the Maryland Trust Act, which included provisions to reduce discrimination of minorities by prohibiting law enforcement from targeting minorities solely based on their race.

Maryland has suffered from a shortage of labor this year – for example, not enough temporary visas for crab pickers on the Eastern Shore. Other news reports indicate a shortage of agricultural workers and home healthcare aides. Do you favor a bill that would protect seasonal workers with visas from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous or abusive labor contractors?

 Yes

Through a 2012 referendum, Maryland voters passed the Maryland Dream Act, which provides an in-state tuition discount to state colleges for DACA Dreamers who have graduated from a Maryland high school. Do you support further educational opportunities for Maryland’s Dreamers?

 Yes

State Senate, District 13

Guy Guzzone

Yes to all 

House of Delegates, District 12

Eric Ebersole

Do you favor a bill that would make clear that immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility and that local law enforcement resources are best used in dealing with local crimes?

I favor such a bill and have co-sponsored one for several sessions now.

Are there actions that Maryland could take at the state level to help immigrants, refugees, and separated migrant families feel safer and less isolated in their homes and communities?

We can use our voice to send letters as representatives of our constituents urging the President and Congress to keep our actions fair, appropriate and humane. We also need to strongly let the Governor know that he should make sure we are not complicit with Federal agencies in unacceptable practices here. We have already done so as a group of progressives, particularly addressing the heinous separation of families. We can also pursue legislation described in the first question above as well as other prohibitions against inappropriate cooperation.

Maryland has suffered from a shortage of labor this year – for example, not enough temporary visas for crab pickers on the Eastern Shore. Other news reports indicate a shortage of agricultural workers and home healthcare aides. Do you favor a bill that would protect seasonal workers with visas from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous or abusive labor contractors? 

I absolutely support this type of legislation.

Through a 2012 referendum, Maryland voters passed the Maryland Dream Act, which provides an for in-state tuition to state colleges for DACA Dreamers who have graduated from a Maryland high school. Do you support further educational opportunities for Maryland’s Dreamers?

Yes, I do support that. We need to give Dreamers the same opportunity for productive and happy lives that the rest of us enjoy here.

House of Delegates, District 13

Shane Pendergrass

Do you favor a bill that would make clear the immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility and that local law enforcement resources are best used in dealing with local crimes?

 yes

Are there actions that Maryland could take at the state level to help immigrants, refugees, and separated migrant families feel safer and less isolated in their homes and communities?

This is not my area of expertise, so I don’t know, but would expect to support reasonable legislation to help immigrants, as I have done in past. (drivers licenses and dream act to mention two).

Maryland has suffered from a shortage of labor this year-for example, not enough temporary visas for crab pickers on the Eastern Shore.  Other news reports indicate a shortage of agricultural workers and home healthcare aides.  Do you favor a bill that would protect seasonal workers with visas from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous or abusive labor contractors?

 yes

Through a 2012 referendum, Maryland voters passed the Maryland Dream Act, which provides in-state tuition to state colleges for DACA Dreamers who have graduated from a Maryland high school who meet the requirements set in the referendum. Do you support further educational opportunities for Maryland’s Dreamers?

 I would expect to.

House of Delegates, District 13

Jen Terrasa

Do you favor a bill that would make clear the immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility and that local law enforcement resources are best used in dealing with local crimes?

YES. I was one of the co-sponsors of CB9 which would have reassured undocumented county residents that they could feel safe in dealing with HC police and other county officials. This would have allowed local law enforcement to continue to focus on enforcing local laws and keeping us all safe. In addition, the bill would have served to help undocumented victims of crimes feel safer when going to police and telling their stories, which would make all of us safer! Howard County should feel safe for all of us living and working here.

Are there actions that Maryland could take at the state level to help immigrants, refugees, and separated migrant families feel safer and less isolated in their homes and communities?

Pass the other legislation mentioned in this questionnaire: Trust/SAFE Act, Dream Act expansion, and legislation to protect seasonal workers from abuse. Prohibit state agencies from releasing immigration status, and provide funds for legal services and to organizations that serve immigrants like FIRN.

Maryland has suffered from a shortage of labor this year-for example, not enough temporary visas for crab pickers on the Eastern Shore.  Other news reports indicate a shortage of agricultural workers and home healthcare aides. Do you favor a bill that would protect seasonal workers with visas from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous or abusive labor contractors?

YES. These workers are an essential part of the Maryland economy and deserve the same protection and respect all workers should have.

Through a 2012 referendum, Maryland voters passed the Maryland Dream Act, which provides in-state tuition to state colleges for DACA Dreamers who have graduated from a Maryland high school who meet the requirements set in the referendum. Do you support further educational opportunities for Maryland’s Dreamers?

YES. I lobbied very hard for the Maryland Dream Act in 2012. Unfortunately, with the current federal administration, DACA is being severely threatened, so we need to make sure in Maryland that students who graduate from Maryland high schools and live in Maryland are eligible for in-state tuition regardless of immigration status.