FEDERATION FOR AMERICAN IMMIGRATION REFORM
Legislative Fact Sheet
Oppose Maryland House Bill 29
Recently introduced House Bill (HB) 29, the so-called “Maryland Law Enforcement Trust Act,” prohibits state and local law enforcement officials from honoring all U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer requests for any alien otherwise eligible for release from custody. An ICE detainer request is a notification to state or local law enforcement agencies that ICE seeks custody of a particular alien for the purpose of removal from the United States. If state law orders state and local officials to ignore ICE detainers requests, however, they have no choice but to release criminal aliens —many of whom have no right to be in the United States — back onto the street in spite of their immigration status and the crimes they committed. Moreover, HB 29 prohibits state and local law enforcement officials from inquiring into the immigration status or place of birth of any arrested individual, or from stopping, arresting, searching or detaining an individual for the purpose of investigating immigration violations or executing ICE administrative warrants to apprehend. It also prohibits the denial of bail based on an ICE detainer request. Lastly, it severely restricts federal immigration agents’ access to interview any inmate in state and local custody by requiring the inmate be given the opportunity to have counsel present, the inmate sign a written consent form, and the interview does not take place prior to the inmate’s first appearance in court.
Reasons to Oppose HB 29
HB 29 poses a serious threat to public safety & will create safe havens that facilitate criminal activity.
State and local jurisdictions that institute sanctuary policies such as HB 29 become magnets for illegal immigration and illegal immigration results in higher crime rates. Frankly, accommodating those who violate our laws only encourages more lawlessness. Even the average illegal alien, who some claim is “otherwise law-abiding” despite violating our duly established immigration law, violates numerous laws, including, but not limited to, laws prohibiting identity theft, forgery, and driving without a license or insurance, often creating real victims. Conversely, state and local jurisdictions that cooperate with and assist the federal government in its immigration enforcement efforts see a dramatic decrease in illegal immigration and crime. For example, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimated that Arizona’s illegal alien population grew from 330,000 in 2000 to 560,000 by 2008, one of the fastest rates nationally. After Arizona’s SB 1070 strict enforcement and cooperation law passed, however, Arizona’s illegal alien population dropped by 18 percent from 2008 to 2009. Arizona also experienced a significant decrease in violent crime. After Prince William County, Virginia instituted a policy of cooperation with DHS, its illegal alien population decreased significantly in just two years, resulting in a reduction in violent crime and hit-and-run accidents.