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Immigration News

Maryland Officials Present Arizona-like Proposal

In Fredrick County, Maryland 3 commissioners have drafted a board proposal as it relates to immigration to be one of this year’s Board of County Commissioners proposals. County Commissioner John L. Thompson Jr., Delegate Charles Jenkins, and County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins wish to move Maryland towards an Arizona-type direction of immigration law.

If enacted, it would deal with immigrants unlawfully in the country living in Fredrick County in the same manner as Arizona’s law. Delegate Jenkins claims any racial or ethnic profiling would be strictly prohibited in the bill, and the only differences between this Maryland bill and Arizona’s would be administrative.

Two of the Republican officials are up for election this year. Charles Jenkins is seeking to remain at his delegate seat, and Thompson is looking to gain a seat in the House and Sheriff Jenkins is running unopposed.

‘The national government, whether intended or not, has effectively allowed an open door policy on immigration,’ Thompson stated in an e-mail. ‘It appears the states will have to rectify the problem.’

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton believes that questions regarding sections of the law need to be addressed stating, ‘There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens under the new (law). By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a distinct, unusual and extraordinary burden on legal resident aliens that only the federal government has the authority to impose.’

While unsure if the county commissioners will add the bill, or whether or not the state legislature would approve it, Delegate Jenkins plans to present it anyway. His ultimate goal is to continue to pressure the federal government to enforce immigration laws; also believing the Supreme Court will uphold the Arizona legislation.

Passed in May, Arizona’s controversial law makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally, and states that local police are required to question people about their immigration status if they suspect they are in the U.S. illegally. Also, it allows lawsuits to be filed against any government agency a person feels is not enforcing or hinders the immigration law. It also makes it illegal to hire undocumented immigrants for day labor or transport them.