Dueling MD bills would help illegal immigrants or punish them

By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf | Maryland Reporter

State lawmakers are considering bills that would decide whether local police should help the federal government detain suspected illegal immigrants for deportation.

Two delegates from opposite parties are advocating two completely different approaches to address how extensively local law enforcement agencies should cooperate with a federal program that identifies people for deportation as soon as they are arrested.

Since 2008, local law agencies across the nation have served as an arm of Secure Communities, a federal program that results in hundreds of thousands of deportations every year, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement estimates.

Local agencies are required to participate in the program by sending fingerprints of arrestees to immigration officials, but they are not required to honor immigrant detainers issued by ICE that allow local police to hold a suspected illegal immigrant for 48 hours.

at Maryland Reporter.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.