The Maryland General Assembly overrode Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of two bills that, according to advocates, protect immigrants in the state.
One of them prohibits jails from detaining people on immigration matters and limits the cooperation between local and federal immigration authorities. The second one protects the information of undocumented drivers.
The state legislature initially approved the proposals back in April, just before the end of the session. Shortly after, the governor announced his opposition, stating legislators were “trying to make Maryland a sanctuary state.” He vetoed the bills in May, along with several others.
On Tuesday, Maryland lawmakers voted in favor of overturning the veto on the Dignity Not Detection Act (HB16), introduced by Montgomery County delegate Vaughn Stewart, which bans local jails from being paid by the federal government to detain people with deportation orders.
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During the debate earlier this year, the bill was modified to include parts of the TRUST Act, which prohibits law enforcement officers from inquiring about a driver’s immigration status during traffic stops, WTOP reported.
This week’s move from legislators was celebrated by members of pro-immigrant organizations.
“Our people got tired, they raised up and kept on pushing,” Lydia Walther-Rodríguez, the director of CASA Baltimore, said. “Legislators are supporting us and heard our movement. [On Tuesday] we had our victory.”
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Some legislators who opposed the laws said they limit the capacity of law enforcement agencies to identify wrongdoers and act, and argue they’ll hurt immigrants' ability to see their families, as detainees will be sent to other centers outside the state.
Legislators also overrode the veto on the Maryland Driver Privacy Act (HB23), which prohibits the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration from sharing drivers’ records or facial recognition data with federal immigration officials, unless they have a warrant.