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June 17, 2010

City joins brief against Arizona immigration law

The city of Baltimore has joined a friend-of-the-court brief urging a federal court in Arizona to block enforcement of that state’s controversial new immigration law, Baltimore Sun colleague Julie Scharper reports.

“The law passed in Arizona offends us and goes against everything that our great nation stands for,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement. “Our country has accepted and welcomed immigrants of all colors, nationalities, and ethnic backgrounds because that is what makes us great. Cities like Baltimore were built by generations of immigrants who thirsted for the freedom to build a prosperous life for themselves and their families. We cannot let fear tear down this country’s tradition of inclusion, liberty and justice.”

The city has joined San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Seattle in the brief, which argues that Arizona Senate Bill 1070 is “unconstitutional, impractical, costly, and deeply damaging to the relationships of trust law enforcement agencies have built with immigrant communities,” according to a news release from Rawlings-Blake’s office.

“SB 1070 suggests, wrongly, that the enforcement of federal civil immigration law is the proper responsibility of local government officials, and that basic constitutional principles do not apply when those officials are investigating or enforcing immigration law,” the local governments argue. “That message will be heard not just in Arizona, but in every state in the country, making immigrants—whether they are naturalized citizens, lawful permanent residents, visa holders, or undocumented individuals—distrustful of local government and law enforcement officials.”

The brief was filed Wednesday in a lawsuit by activists who are asking the court to halt enforcement of the law before it goes into effect at the end of July.

Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton introduced a City Council resolution last month criticizing the Arizona law.

Del. Pat McDonough of Harford County, who says he will introduce a bill modeled on the Arizona law in Annapolis next year, called Middleton’s resolution “useless and clueless.”

The city's participation in the amicus brief drew praise from the Baltimore Hispanic Commission.

“Baltimore has a rich immigrant history and a long tradition of upholding basic civil rights for all its people," commission Chairman Nicolas Ramos Sr. said. "By signing on to the brief, Mayor Rawlings Blake is not only standing up for immigrants in Arizona, Baltimore, and across the country, she is defending the basic civil rights of all Americans."

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 5:11 PM | | Comments (29)


Just another reason to write the city off as a leaderless, lawless and logic-free jurisdiction.
The city council cannot figure out how to balance a budget, pick up trash, control crime, or keep local politicians out of on earth can anyone think they would have the intelligence much less the time to understand what is REALLY going on in Arizona.
The court will accept this 'friend of the court' brief for what it is worth......fluff!

If the new taxes weren't enough for people to never want to live in Baltimore again, this new amicus curiae brief will certainly be enough.

The Mayor and the City Council don't have better things to do?

From Martin Omalley to Sheila Dixon, to the Currnet Mayor, Baltimore has come under the SANCTURY POLICIES. It's funny how the mayor is talking about what is being cut when it comes to Baltimorians, especially the black ones. But I can see millions of Mexicans, Central Americans and Asians flooding Baltimore on a daily basis and All of them have no problem getting jobs, housing and social services.

I wonder what the black city council members and the dumb mayor is going to say when them same immigrants replace them like they did in los angeles, and the other cities above.

Those immigrants are welcome to politicians at the expense of their fellow blacks.

Every last one of them needs to be impeached and replaced instantly.

Isn't it great that a city council that can't support itself or be financially responsible are so eager to fight against a law where the majority of Americans wish for their own states!
Maybe they can try to create another TAX to help defend the illegal aliens while they are at it.
I am sooo very glad there is a border between the city and MY county!

This city has schools without libraries, can't afford police to protect the citizens, can't afford to hire competent prosecutors to put criminals behind bars, can't afford parole agents to follow up on released criminals, can't bother to stop children from assaulting handicapped children in elementary school classrooms. Yet they have time and money to pay a staff attorney to file a friend of the court brief? Nice job of keeping your priorities straight.
How about having that lawyer do something useful like work in a school cafeteria?

You have to remember the Democratic Party's end game here...these aren't just illegal aliens...they are undocumented Democratic voters!

Wow holy than thou Mayor SRB has spoken!
Before you take the high ground Mayor fix this dump of a city up first.
What a total complete waste of money.
And she has the nerve to raise my taxes.
Physician heal thyself

Really? It truly amazes me that with all that is occurring within our city that the “powers that be” have the time or the resources to get involved with issues in Arizona. Please can someone tell me when did it become expectable for our borders to be violated? Does the reason for breaking the law justify its breaking? NO! To allow this to continue does a disservice to all those who have gone and go through the proper channels to be part of our great country. America is the greatest country in the world, but why have laws if they are going to be ignored when it is convenient or not politically correct? Having legal ID on your person is already a long established law. So why is it that now it is a problem. We (Americans) have been waiting for a very long time for this issue to addressed and it would seem that the people we put into office have forgotten that it is us whom they serve. If so many people have an issue with what Arizona is doing then let them offer their own solution… otherwise I invite you to please SIT DOWN. With all due respect, this country is having a hard time just taking care of our own and while I certainly understand what motivates a person to break laws it doesn’t make it right that they have done so.

Balt City has lawyers to file legal briefs on Arizona Laws? There's the first place to make budget cuts.

Next the city can round up all the illegals hanging out at E Lombard & Broadway and ship them to Arizona.

Dear Ignorant people,

Question: Is az1070 unconstitutional?

Answer: We have a little thing call the Supreme Court to decide this not cities or a President. (constitutional scholar my eye!)

Question is az1070 racist?

Answer: People can be racist not bills. If one would read bill one would find not racisit content in bill. In fact it cleary states the contrary.

Question: Can a city or State Boycott another City or State?

Answer: Check Commerce Clause and you will find the answer is no this is Unconstitutional.

Question: Why does the current admistration and members of congress want the Jews out of Isreal and yet want illegals here in the U.S. ?

Answer: You figure it out!

Brought to you by a U.S Irish-German legal citizen.

USA for European-Whites only. Deport all minorities and immigrants. It's time our voices get heard. Arizona is a good start, laws like it will help us send the message that we don't want minorities and immigrants in our neigborhoods. vote for the White People's patry. Vote for the Tea Party.
MD needs SB 1070 too.
SB 1070 is a good American law.

To all you hate mongers that posted your un educated responses this bill is draconian..Im glad to see your Mayor had the sense and the courage to stand up for whats right..You guys can have our idiot politicans from Az anytime!

Where are our priorities?
Not meddling in AZ problems that's for sure
Watch Baltimore fall deeper into the well as anchor babies start eating up moreresources.
black politicos beware,
When you over hear illegals discussing blacks, (assuming you are fluent in Spanish) you would think that you are at a KKK meeting.
Los Morenos is not a term of endearment.

Recent poll: 58% of Americans approve of the Arizona law. I didn't know Baltimore had the luxury of using the city's legal resources for a case regarding an issue that Arizona struggles with daily. If Baltimore was dealing with the influx of illegals that Arizona faces, I'm sure the city would be less friendly to the forces that oppose the Arizona legislation.

there is one big difference between those who migrated to Maryland in the years past who helped build the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland is they were LEGAL here in the USA.
Wake up before it is too late. Any attorney who supports illegals should be disbarred for not upholding the Constitution of the United States of America

The Arizona law offends us?!! Illegal aliens offend us!!! I'm all for the law, in addition to the one they are trying to pass that doesn't allow an illegal alien's child to become a citizen simply because they are born here.

I believe the bill is for the State to enforce the immigration laws already in place.

So, how does this play out, the police round up the illegals, get them out of the country until they can LEGALLY re-enter.

Ease the burden on the services provided to NON-TAXPAYERS. Hmmmmm where's the problem?

What do you people not understand.
If you break the law to get here you are a law breaker.
Is the concept of law breaking unknown to you.
This whole thing is about people breaking a law.
In this country we are hopefully a people who obey the laws.
People coming here that obey our laws are not the problem.
Lets be real here now!!!
You want lawlessness you can have it!!!
Some of us just want those who are elected to up hold those laws that are on the books!!!
Support those laws or get on your boat and go home.

If Baltimore City is against the Arizona initiative, then the State of Arizona is doing something right. Hey all of you Arizonans, send ALL of your illegals to Baltimore, they love them there.

I'm willing to bet this empty-headed woman hasn't read the law like a lot of the people who publicly denounce it. It essentially mirrors the federal law, but at the state level, and has safeguards to prevent racial profiling and unneeded harrassment. And to say how Baltimore and America are built on immigration? Yes, that is true -- LEGAL immigration. I'm not sure how people are confusing the two issues so much. I need an ID if I fly on a plane to Arizona, but these people are arguing that undocumented people can walk into Arizona from another country legally? Would we feel the same if we knew Middle Eastern terrorists were flooding over the border unchecked? Maybe they are -- people against this law are demonizing checking to see if ILLEGAL aliens are here ILLEGALLY (yes, it is not LEGAL). I would support immigration reform to make the process easier, but just because you don't like a law, or the process by which to do something legally, doesn't mean you can circumvent it entirely. Also, I'm a little embarrassed that Baltimore has added itself to the list of uninformed cities who are meddling in the policies of another state which have no direct affect on themselves. But hey, glad we have our priorities in line.

Also, "RichardShelbyFL," you're not fooling anyone. You're just a liberal who wants to make Tea Party members look racist (though I'm sure some are, as there are in any political affiliation). I'm pretty sure America is onto your tricks, and frankly we're quite tired of them.

I applaud AZ. And am unhappy with the sanctuary status our fearless leader has bestowed upon all of us. Yup, I just can't wait to pay for illegal aliens rent healthcare, education,food.
Please note- my comment is about people entering illegally- not legal immigration. I happily pay taxes that help the indigent but lets not keep the floodgates open- we will sink. and who the heck will be left to pay?


Let’s see how quickly she called the police.

What an excellent use of city resources. Decaying roads, schools, businesses, and we're paying city lawyers to write purposeless amicus briefs.

Are you kidding me your inept Mayor by default does not have a clue.Look around you Crime City has more problems to look in too than stick your nose in Arizona.s business. Clean up your own house before you get involved in someone else business. I grew up in Baltimore many years ago. I am ashamed to admit it. It is a dirty shame you can not go visit the old neighborhood with out fear. wake up people keep your hand outta the till and CLEAN UP THE CITY.

The mayor has the right idea, but didn't go far enough. She ought to tell Arizona and the Illegal border crossers, "come to Baltimore. We will gladly accept you. We are in desperate need of the tax base that would be increased by your presence. We are in a budget crisis and can use all the help we can get. You would feel right at home. Baltimore is at least as violent as where you came from."

Don't you just love it. LA and Baltimore protesting the AZ law. They have no clue as to what it is like to deal with the issues the people in AZ are facing. Both Baltimore and LA are in such disarray they need to focus on their own troubles. It it's the law their worried about, the leaders in Baltimore should learn how to enforce it instead of striking deals with the devil. It's like the wind whistling through the empty cavities between those two ears that makes those kind of noises.

I wonder how many of our city leaders have actually read the Arizonia bill?
When the federal government is derelict the state should and must protect its citizens.

Kudos to city officials and Mayor Rawlings-Blake for standing up against a discriminatory and racist law. Hopefully with the federal government filing suit, it will soon be overturned. Unless you are Native American, you are either an immigrant or a descendant of immigrants to this great nation. There is strength in diversity. Give the illegal immigrants a path to citizenship over a certain period of time--then, if they don't take that opportunity, use sanctions.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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