Maryland lawmakers withdraw bill proposing ‘sanctuary state’ status

Maryland lawmakers withdraw bill proposing ‘sanctuary state’ status

[JURIST] Legislators in Maryland on Monday withdrew a bill [SB 835, PDF] proposing to make Maryland a so-called “sanctuary state.” The purpose of the bill was to “prohibiting a specified government agent from taking specified actions for immigration enforcement purposes.” The bill would have prevented law enforcement from “stopping, arresting, searching, or detaining an individual for purposes of investigating a suspected immigration violation or inquiring about specified matters” and would have required a specific model of conduct to be developed and implemented for such procedures. The bill had been threatened [Washington Times report] with a veto from the governor and harshly criticized by the Trump administration.

Immigration has been a key focus for Trump since his inauguration. Last month the city of Seattle filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against President Donald Trump’s administration, arguing that their designation as a “sanctuary city” should not prevent them from receiving federal funds, as required by Executive Order 13768 [text]. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions [official profile] reiterated [JURIST report] that “sanctuary cities” may soon see federal funds from the Department of Justice cut off. In January, seven days after his inauguration, Trump issued an executive order [JURIST text] which limited migration from seven Muslim-majority countries, among other changes. That order was repeatedly challenged, causing Trump to craft a new order of slightly smaller scope. The new order was challenged [JURIST report] two weeks ago by five states claiming that the revised order will still “cause severe and immediate harms.”