SILVER SPRING, Md. - A controversial proposal could put Maryland in the crosshairs of President Donald Trump. The president is threatening to cut federal funds to "sanctuary cities" where officials don't cooperate with immigration enforcement.
Now, Maryland state House Democrats are pushing a bill to limit how many state resources could be used to enforce those laws.
The question is this: should state governments be writing laws that wind up shielding illegal immigrants from U.S. federal government immigration laws? It's a hot topic in Maryland now as one Montgomery County delegate is gaining support in the Democrat-controlled legislature for such a bill.
Democratic Del. Marice Morales says her bill would stop police in Maryland from asking questions to victims about their citizenship or where they are born. The bill also stops local police from taking part in federal immigration enforcement operations and raids.
But the GOP leader in Maryland's House of Delegates warns the bill "ignores the rule of law" and would create "anarchy" in Maryland. Del. Nic Kipke says immigration laws should be enforced and shielding people from law enforcement isn't sensible. Morales calls her bill the "Trust Act."
"I really have a problem with that phrase [sanctuary state] because there is this underlying belief that you are creating a safe haven or sanctuary for criminals, which then means that immigrants are thus criminals," said Morales. "However, studies have shown that immigrants are more likely to be victims of crime rather than being criminals themselves."
The reality in Annapolis is that that Democrats control both the House and Senate. They have 75 co-sponsors to pass the bill. What is not clear though is if they would have the 85 votes to override Republican Governor Larry Hogan if he vetoed the bill.