National Immigration Forum

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City of Baltimore Passes Unanimous Resolution to Support Immigration Reform

August 15, 2009 - Posted by Shuya Ohno


On Monday, the same day that the President announced that America would have to wait until the fall to see draft legislation on immigration reform, and until spring to see a vote on the bill in Congress, the City of Baltimore, just a few miles from the nation’s capital, did not wait to pass its own resolution, and acted unanimously to take a public stance to press Congress and the President to act on immigration reform.


In this Resolution, the City of Baltimore, with its diverse constituency with a large African-American population, its rich history of immigration, and its proud hard-working blue collar tradition, recognized two very important aspects of Baltimore’s need for immigration reform.


“The positive effects of immigration can best be encouraged by an adaptable immigration policy that meets the demand for jobs available. Such an immigration system must be efficient, effective, and customer friendly.”


“…Immigration reform must include a mechanism that will recognize the status of undocumented workers and allow them to earn their legal status so that their positive effects on the economy can be maximized.”


What the Resolution underscores is the recognition by local elected officials that immigration reform is in the collective and individual best interest of their communities and constituents.


“As a city with a rich immigrant history, we recognize that our city and country will be stronger if we can assist new immigrants in fully assimilating into our community. There’s no doubt that the country has a broken immigration system, and that local municipalities are paying a big price as a result of Washington’s inaction,” said Baltimore City Councilmember Rochelle “Rikki” Spector.  “I am thrilled that Baltimore is taking the leadership in Maryland to support comprehensive immigration reform,” said Spector.


According to Casa de Maryland, a statewide organization with an office in Baltimore, plans to raise Immigration Reform as a priority issue at next week’s Maryland Association of Counties conference, to urge other local governments across Maryland to join Baltimore in issuing similar statements.


We urge all local governments across the country to join Baltimore in taking similar stands.



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