|The Montgomery County Gazette printed an article criticizing Delegate McDonough’s proposal, similar to the "Arizona Bill." Please read the article and should you wish to respond to support Delegate McDonough, the contact numbers are at the bottom of the page. Also, please forward a copy to Patmcdee@ comcast.net.
Step up, feds; take a seat, state lawmakers
Immigration bills such as Arizona’s set bad example
Del. Patrick L. McDonough, who has never let political reality stand in the way of his crusades, knows that the anti-illegal immigration legislation he is planning to introduce next session in Annapolis – assuming he wins re-election in November – is going nowhere. Maryland, thankfully, is not Arizona, whose new anti-illegal immigration law is the model for McDonough’s bill-to-come. "Maryland is infested with politicians that are basically advocates for illegals," McDonough said indelicately last week. For anyone who has been in seclusion, the Arizona law makes the failure to carry immigration documents a crime and gives police the power to detain those suspected of being in the United States illegally. Trying to placate critics, Arizona lawmakers amended the law to tighten restrictions on the use of race or ethnicity as the basis for questioning by police. McDonough, by the way, isn’t the only Maryland lawmaker to glom onto the issue. Del. Charles A. Jenkins (R-Dist. 3B) of Frederick also is pondering legislation, either in conjunction with McDonough or on his own, which goes to prove that there’s always room on the dinghy if there are political points to be scored. Jenkins first wants to discuss the fine points of any legislation with Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins. Opponents of Arizona’s law, including the American Civil Liberties Union, rightly say that it encourages racial profiling. Stories already abound of the fear among lawful Arizonans with Hispanic surnames. The opponents also say that immigration is the responsibility of the federal government, that the latter should be the entity to determine who is in the country illegally. That, of course, leads back to the source of much of this immigration law turmoil and angst. The federal government basically has abdicated its would-be, should-be role. President Barack Obama, whose leadership on immigration reform has been questioned, acknowledged last week in Iowa that the immigration system is "broken" and that a comprehensive approach through federal legislation is needed. Simply put, crimes committed by drug smugglers in Arizona, including the March murder of a rancher, help make a compelling case for immigration reform. But widespread checking of suspected illegal immigrants isn’t the way to go. A bill in the U.S. Senate offers a framework for action. It would tighten security along the nation’s borders, register illegal immigrants with the federal government and set them on a path to citizenship, and target employers who hire illegal workers. The most compelling argument in favor of federal intervention may be, in fact, that misbegotten efforts such as Arizona’s law – and potential bills in Maryland – would be confined to the legislative dustbin. To submit letters to the editor
Through the web, click here.