MACo Associate Director Natasha Mehu recently submitted written testimony opposing House Bill 1362 “Maryland Law Enforcement and Governmental Trust Act”. MACo is concerned the bill imposes stringent limitations on local government autonomy that have far-reaching and significant consequences.
MACo’s testimony states
HB 1362 sets explicit parameters limiting state and local agencies and officials from cooperating with federal immigration efforts. Local governments and their staff are broadly prohibited from assisting federal agents, releasing information, and responding to notifications so long as these actions are taken for immigration enforcement purposes.
While the intent may be to protect vulnerable Marylanders, the bill creates logistical and public safety challenges that could instead lead to harm. The bill would preempt local law enforcement from intervening if a federal enforcement action becomes violent – even if the intervention is in the interest of maintaining public safety. Their hands would also be significantly tied from providing information or responding to notifications regarding convicted criminals.