Maryland Republican Party Logo FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2019

Contact: Patrick O’Keefe, Executive Director

Annapolis, MD – A diverse coalition of groups representing citizens, legal immigrants, and victims’ advocates will gather in Annapolis tomorrow to speak out against two bills being considered that would effectively make Maryland a sanctuary state.

“Sanctuary policies endanger public safety and incentivize more illegal immigration,” said Zhenya Li, President of the Maryland Chinese American Network (MD-CAN). “And for those of us who came to this country legally, anything that undermines U.S. immigration enforcement is a slap in the face,” she said.

She was joined by other groups concerned about the state’s illegal immigration problem, including Maryland Campaign for Liberty, the Maryland Republican Party, and the Montgomery County GOP – Asian American Association. Over 8,000 Marylanders signed a Maryland Republican Party petition opposing the bills in less than a week.

The activists will testify about two bills that will be heard on Thursday, February 21 before the Maryland Judicial Proceedings Committee at 2 East, Miller Senate Office Building in Annapolis.

The groups will address:
• SB 718 would prohibit government employees from requesting information about a person’s immigration status and allow an individual hurt by such an inquiry to sue.
• SB 817 would prohibit employees or agents of a correctional facility from detaining an individual beyond a certain date without a judicial warrant or providing federal immigration authorities with information about that person’s release date, as well as prohibit police during a stop, search, or arrest from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status.

“The lines of communication between our federal, state, and local authorities concerning immigration should be widened not narrowed,” said James Walden II, an Angel Father whose son, Lance Cpl. James Ray Walden III, a marine, lost his life to an illegal alien whose status had been known by the state of Maryland for at least five years.

“The illegal alien had been arrested for a domestic incident and placed on probation and given an order of protection, and he violated both of them,” he said.

Both laws, if enacted, would be clear violations of federal law, which clearly states that state and local governments may not prohibit communication or cooperation with federal immigration authorities in any way.

“I think that it’s a travesty that, in this the political climate, politicians want to put the so-called ‘rights’ ‘of illegal immigrants over the legitimate rights of our own citizens. They are putting the needs of illegal immigrants ahead of the need to educate children, take care of the elderly on social security, homeless persons, and the like,” said Walden.”

“The adoption of sanctuary laws will not only undermine our children’s future, but encourage even more illegal immigration into Maryland,” said Li.

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