Monday night the Howard County Council voted 3-2 to pass a sanctuary bill.
Tuesday, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman said he will veto the bill. He said though Howard County is an inclusive and diverse county, he does not support Council Bill 9.
Throughout this process, I have said that Council Bill 9, which the County Council amended and passed last night, is a bad solution to a problem that does not exist in Howard County. It is little more than a hollow political statement. It unnecessarily divided our foreign-born community and caused rifts in our county. The bill offers a false sense of security to undocumented immigrants, compromises public safety efforts and puts us at risk of losing critical federal funding for community services and law enforcement.
For these reasons, I will veto CB9 when it reaches my desk.
Kittleman said the mission of the Howard County Police Department will remain to keep everyone who lives, works or visits in Howard County is safe. He said their focus is on protecting the community, not enforcing federal immigration law.
We’ve hired multicultural liaisons to help with outreach and to strengthen relationships. This dedication to inclusiveness runs through the fabric of county government. And we have a county government that represents our community’s diversity, working every day to make sure our services are comprehensive and accessible. To imply otherwise is insulting.
Our priorities and policies are driven by shared values of inclusion, collaboration and opportunity. These are the guiding principles that led to efforts like our #OneHoward campaign and Congressman Elijah Cummings’ Stand Up, Speak Up Howard. In the face of acts of hatred and bigotry, responsible leaders on the local, state and federal level have engaged the community, promoted dialogue and sought solutions that are impactful, without causing greater anxiety in the community.
He finished his press conference saying that he promises as county executive he would continue to make Howard County a welcoming and inclusive county.