Mayor Catherine Pugh announced on Thursday that there will be an increase of support to provide legal help to immigrants facing deportation hearings.
This action is part of the Safe City Baltimore initiative that was launched early this year along with the Open Society Institute. As an initiative, its goal and belief are that whether an immigrant stays or leave the United States, due process should be conducted efficiently and in fairness for those who need the legal assistance.
“Providing legal representation to those facing deportation maintains trust in law enforcement and our local institutions and keeps us all safe. If our residents don’t feel safe – for example, coming forward to report crimes and cooperating with law enforcement – all of us are at more risk,” said Mayor Pugh.
Baltimore City will also provide funding through a catalyst grant administered by the Vera Institute of Justice for legal service providers to represent immigrants faced with deportation.
“The constitutional guarantee of due process applies to people residing in the U.S., including immigrants. Before we separate parents and children before we remove someone who is a hard-working and valued member of our community, we must respect their rights,” said Oren Root, Director of the Center on Immigration and Justice at the Vera Institute of Justice.
According to officials, this is in an effort to keep Baltimore City a safe and secure place that protects the well-being of its local residents.