Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz issued an Executive Order on Wednesday morning formalizing Baltimore County’s public safety policies in light of President Trump’s anti-immigration campaign. Reducing the current practice to written policy, Baltimore County police officers will not unlawfully profile the immigration status of its residents, and the Detention Center will not unlawfully hold any individual past their release date, without a judicial order of detainer.
“As an attorney, I am confident that the Presidential effort to investigate and detain immigrants is contrary to the Constitution, and Baltimore County will not disregard the law protecting individual rights,” said County Executive Kamenetz. “The President’s directives are causing fear and panic among otherwise law abiding residents. I am particularly concerned about the impact on children, and the chilling effect that is impacting productive police-community relations. Children are afraid to go to school, women are afraid to report domestic abuse, and families are afraid to seek medical care in a hospital out of the fear of deportation. We won’t let that happen in Baltimore County. Today’s Executive Order will make that crystal clear.”
Kamenetz’s order states that no Baltimore County Police Officer shall make inquiry into a person’s immigration status for the purpose of initiating civil enforcement of immigration proceedings, except in the case of a criminal warrant signed by a judicial official. It also states that no personnel within the Police Department or Department of Corrections shall cause to be detained any individual beyond their court ordered release date, except upon reasonable belief of the existence of an order of detainer issued by a properly recognized judicial official.
Kamenetz also criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ threat to withhold federal funds from state and local government that do not comply with the President’s Executive Orders.
“For an administration that claims to value our constitution and our American values, you certainly would not know it by their obvious lack of knowledge of the 10th amendment,” said Kamenetz. “The 10th amendment to the Constitution prohibits the federal government from withholding funds to coerce counties to conform to federal policies unrelated to the appropriation. Baltimore County adheres to the Constitution and to sound policing practices that maintain community trust among residents we are obligated to protect. Like the Muslim ban, I am confident the courts will strike down the Attorney General’s counter-productive threat.”
The complete Executive Order is below:
LAW ENFORCEMENT STANDARDS ON IMMIGRATION STATUS, DIVERSITY AND EQUITY
WHEREAS, Baltimore County residents fully support our country’s rich heritage of welcoming immigrants from around the world who come to America seeking a better life in pursuit of the American Dream; and
WHEREAS, Baltimore County has welcomed an increasingly diverse population that parallels statewide demographics; and
WHEREAS, Baltimore County recognizes that public trust and confidence in local government and law enforcement policies are essential to a fair and orderly government; and
WHEREAS, the Baltimore County Police Department prides itself on the positive relationship that it has maintained with the County’s resident population, including its immigrant community, and maintenance of positive relationships are key to keeping our neighborhoods safe; and
WHEREAS, as part of that relationship, all residents must feel safe and secure to cooperate with Baltimore County Police Officers to report crimes and offer assistance in resolving criminal activity; and
WHEREAS, from time to time it is necessary to reiterate the policies and precepts necessary to maintain public order and discourse, consistent with the laws of the county, state, and federal governments, their respective judicial branch holdings, and the Constitutions of Maryland and the United States.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Kevin Kamenetz, as County Executive of Baltimore County, on this ____ day of April 2017, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Baltimore County Charter, do hereby promulgate the following EXECUTIVE ORDER for Baltimore County, Maryland:
1. No Baltimore County Department, agency, officer or employee shall discriminate against any person within Baltimore County based on confirmed or suspected race, creed, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, status as a veteran, physical or mental disability, immigration status, and/or inability to speak English.
2. No Baltimore County Department, agency, officer or employee shall condition the provision of County services or benefits on the immigration status of the individual seeking those services or benefits unless such conditions are lawfully imposed by federal or state law.
3. No Baltimore County Police Officer shall make inquiry of a person’s immigration status for the purpose of initiating civil enforcement of immigration proceedings, except in the case of a criminal warrant signed by a judicial official.
4. No personnel within the Police Department or Department of Corrections shall cause to be detained any individual beyond their court ordered release date, except upon reasonable belief of the existence of an order of detainer issued by a properly recognized judicial official.
5. Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to prohibit any Baltimore County Police Officer or employee from participating in task force activities with county, state or federal criminal law enforcement authorities.
6. Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to prohibit any Baltimore County Police Officer from investigating violations of criminal law.
7. Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to prohibit any Baltimore County Police Officer from cooperating with federal immigration authorities in the investigation and apprehension of undocumented immigrants suspected of criminal activity.
8. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately according to its terms.