On January 5th, 2017, after several weeks of careful consideration, Allan Kittleman elected to release a statement declaring his intent to veto the much talked about legislation CB-9, the bill designating Howard County a Sanctuary County.
While we have laws in place against hate crimes, we also know that no law or policy can prevent all acts of racism or prejudice. Council Bill 9 (CB-9), introduced by Councilmembers Calvin Ball and Jen Terrasa, is a hollow political statement that provides a false sense of security, compromises our ability to keep our community safe, and could jeopardize federal funding for critical programs and services. For these reasons, I will veto CB-9 should it pass the County Council. – Allan Kittleman, January 5th, 2017
In his statement, the County Executive outlined the effect CB-9 would have on the local immigrant population, local law enforcement, and county projects dependent on federal funding should it be put into law.
Of particular note is the effect CB-9 would have on local law enforcement and in their ability to utilize federal resources for investigations involving international drug trafficking, human trafficking, and criminal gang activity. Should this bill be put into law, the Howard County Police Department would potentially be prohibited from coordinating with federal law enforcement agencies.
Also of importance is the net effect “Sanctuary County” status will have on existing and planned county initiatives dependent on federal funding. What many people don’t realize is that when federal resources come available, the Federal government and the Congress place contingencies on that funding. One of the active debates in Washington is whether local jurisdictions with “sanctuary” status will have their federal funding pulled. Some Jurisdictions, such as this one in New York State have even taken steps to pull back on its “sanctuary” status in part as to not jeopardize the federal funding it receives in 2017.
It remains to be seen whether the Howard County Council will pass CB-9 and send the bill to the County Executive for signature. However, in his statement, the County Executive did make it clear that his Administration will continue treat all people in Howard County with the respect and decency they deserve.
My administration will continue to champion and preserve our values and we encourage residents to seek paths toward legalization. Our departments and agencies, including our Police Department, will continue to treat each resident with dignity and respect. My promise, as County Executive, is that Howard County will continue to be a welcoming, inclusive and safe community where we celebrate our diversity.
-Allan Kittleman, January 5th, 2017
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