In the words of James Bond villain Alec Trevelyan, why can’t the Maryland Law Enforcement and Governmental Trust Act just be a good boy and die?
Last spring, legislation by the same name died in the Senate, much to the frustration of advocates of undocumented immigrants. Yet sure enough, some Maryland progressives and their allies, including the Maryland ACLU and CASA de Maryland, plan to resurrect the bill as soon as possible and have already held public forums to discuss just that.
Supporters of the bill say the measure will help “foster trust between immigrant/minority individuals and state/local government.” In redressing arguments suggesting the bill may make Maryland a magnet for criminals, supporters argue the opposite: that when trust exists between illegal immigrant communities and law enforcement, the former will be more likely to report crime. Thus, the Trust Act would in fact “make our families and communities safer” — or so the argument goes.
Admittedly, the theory makes sense (although it is unclear such newfound trust will offset a surge in violent crime, such as the one Northern Virginia and the Maryland suburbs of D.C. have seen with the expansion of MS-13). But before throwing their support behind the Trust Act’s latest reincarnation, Maryland lawmakers should take a moment to appreciate the foundational absurdity of this reasoning.
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