The chairman of the Howard County Council has released a statement explaining why he voted no on a bill to make the county a sanctuary county.
"I am not convinced that the bill sponsors were as thoughtful and deliberative on this issue as they should have been before filing this bill. The process underlying the development and introduction of this bill did not reflect the overwhelming importance of the issue at hand," said Jon Weinstein, who represents District 1 in Howard County. That district includes Ellicott City, Elkridge, Columbia and Hanover.
The council on Monday night voted 3-2 in favor of the bill, which brought forth hours of testimony from community members.
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said he would veto the bill.
Weinstein said the bill falls short "in that it will do very little in practical terms to allay the day-to- day fear and anxiety experienced by members of the undocumented immigrant community."
"To be clear, the bill’s sponsors introduced and passed a bill that eliminated the word “Sanctuary” from the sanctuary bill. One leader in the foreign-born community testified during the public hearings that this was the most important part of the bill, since it did nothing else to change existing police or government practices," he said in his statement.
Weinstein went on to say the bill complicates interactions "between this already vulnerable community and the county government, especially the police."