Most of the issues that fall under the County Council’s purview are local and relatively non-partisan. We all care about schools, traffic, safe neighborhoods, affordability, and responsible development, regardless of our political party affiliations.
But occasionally, national issues, like sanctuary status, will play out on our local stage. I am often asked if I support legislation for Howard County to be a sanctuary county. Here is my answer that I have given at every public forum:
I support the County Executive’s current policy that the police cooperate with immigration enforcement in criminal matters.
Here is a copy of the current policy if you are unfamiliar with the final outcome of the sanctuary county debate from 2016.
In general I feel that our county considered the issue in a democratic fashion: it went through proper legislative channels, and it has been decided. The proposed legislation was initially passed by the Council, vetoed by the County Executive, and failed an override vote in the Council. Later, the County Executive issued the formal policy statement to clarify the role of Howard County police regarding immigration enforcement.
I understand that communities are worried about the safety of their neighborhoods and schools. And I believe that the current policy is successful in ensuring that we are safe. And I promise to monitor the situation and work with the police department to support their important job of protecting and serving.