Baltimore Latinos Demand That Police Be Barred From Asking Status
Tuesday, civil rights leaders, and clergy joined Latino activists as they called for a written policy stating that police “are not here to enforce unjust immigration laws but rather to address criminal issues and violence.”
This comes after the increase in violent crimes against Latinos. 3 have been killed in 5 attacks in Southeast Baltimore in just a matter of weeks, including a 51 year-old Honduran man who was beaten to death just one month after his nephew was shot and killed last month.
The Hispanic residences often do not come forward to report additional crimes due to fear of their immigration status being checked. A written policy is demanded in order to assure that no one has reason to fear reporting a crime to police.
When City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young and Councilman James B. Kraft were asked their thoughts on the issue, Kraft had this to say, “Putting something in writing doesn’t make a difference. It puts us in the middle of the national immigration debate. We’ll get crazy people from all over the country coming here to find out if Baltimore is going to have a written policy or not.”
The mayor’s office has arranged a town hall meeting Monday for police and Latinos to discuss the possibility of the policy.