Baltimore Hispanic Leaders Commend Mayor For Taking Leadership Against Arizona Anti-Immigrant Law

On June 16th , The City of Baltimore’s Law Department joined an amicus curiae brief filed in Arizona urging a federal district court to block enforcement of the State of Arizona’s new anti-immigrant law. The City joins cities and counties from around the nation in opposition to the law. The brief was filed in Friendly House et al. v. Whiting et al., a case brought by individuals, business, labor, social justice and religious organization seeking to have the law invalidated.

The move came on the heels of Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s participation in the Major Cities Mayors Conference in Oklahoma City, where the group passed a resolution condemning Arizona’s SB1070, the anti-immigrant law in question. SB1070 would make it a state crime to lack legal immigration status, and would mandate that local law enforcement officers ask for documentation of legal status from anyone “suspected” of being undocumented; a move which advocates fear will result in racial and ethnic profiling and decreased community collaboration with local police.

“Baltimore has a rich immigrant history and a long tradition of upholding basic civil rights for all its people. By signing on to the brief, Mayor Rawlings Blake is not only standing up for immigrants in Arizona, Baltimore, and across the country, she is defending the basic civil rights of all Americans”, said Baltimore City Hispanic Commission Chairman Nicolas Ramos, Sr. “On behalf of the Baltimore Hispanic Commission, we commend the mayor for taking leadership on this issue.”

Rawlings-Blake’s move to join the lawsuit against the state of Arizona over the anti-immigrant legislation comes weeks after the Baltimore City Council passed a resolution condemning the Arizona law and calling on the Maryland General Assembly and Governor O’Malley to oppose any similar legislation in the state of Maryland. The resolution was introduced by Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton.

“Our elected leaders have taken strong first steps in condemning Arizona’s anti-immigrant law,” added Commissioner Rev. Robert Wojtek, C.S.S.R. “I hope they will continue to work with Baltimore’s immigrant community to ensure that basic civil rights are protected and our immigrants are able to participate fully in making our neighborhoods safer for all Baltimore residents.”

Baltimore Hispanic Commission Members:

Nicolas Ramos, Sr., Chair 
Elizabeth Alex
Ana Maria Caballero Schwartz
Elliott Morales
Nelson Ortega
Hon. Rochelle “Rikki” Spector
Rev. Robert Wojtek, C.S.S.R.

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