Immigration Bills – Maryland 2019 Legislative Session
DTMG supported three bills to promote immigration justice.
We had two successes in the legislature and one of these has been signed into law. Now it’s time to contact the Governor and urge him to sign the second one. Sadly, the Trust Act never made it out of committee and will have to be reintroduced in 2020.
Victims and Witnesses – U Nonimmigrant Status – Certification of Victim Helpfulness – (HB0214 and SB0144) This bill will help provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who report and help solve crimes, including domestic violence, and help our undocumented residents feel safe to report crimes in our community. Currently, undocumented residents are fearful of reporting crimes. If enacted, certificates would be issued to certain persons who assist with criminal investigations that would allow them to apply for a U-Visa.
Success! This bill has been signed into law!
- This bill will make our communities safer by removing a barrier to cooperation with law enforcement in the immigrant community.
- Law enforcement needs the cooperation of all our community members to do their job.
Higher Education – Tuition Rates – Exemptions (Dream Act) (HB0262 and SB0537) This bill strengthens the Maryland Dream law, a law that provides tuition equity for undocumented students in Maryland. It removes strict requirements for in-state tuition and provides protections to students under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS). It allows Maryland Dreamers to receive resident tuition at a 4 – year university without having to attend and receive 60 credits from a local community college.
Status: Another Immigration legislation success story! This bill passed both chambers.
Action: Urge the Governor to sign!
Correctional Facilities and Police Officers – Procedures – Immigration Status (Trust Act) (HB0913 and SB0817) This bill would increase community safety by reducing barriers to cooperation with law enforcement. It codifies informal practices in place in many jurisdictions by preventing law enforcement from:
- Inquiring about a person’s immigration status, citizenship status, or place of birth during routine police functions;
- Holding a person beyond their release date solely on the basis of an immigration detainer; or
- Detaining anyone solely for the purpose of investigating a suspected immigration violation or because of an administrative immigration warrant.
Status: The Trust Act did not make it out of the Senate Judicial Proceedngs or the House Judiciary Committee.
View DTMG Testimony Here.