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Town of Easton & ChesMRC develop new immigration policy statement

Read Actual Article here: Star Demo Policy Statement

EASTON — The Town of Easton has developed a policy statement in response to growing fears in the town’s immigrant community. The purpose of the statement is not to argue with federal immigration laws, however, but “really is to make clear what Easton’s policy is,” John Ford Easton Town Council president said.

The page long statement starts with saying,” Easton believes a more diverse community is a stronger, more vibrant community, and is committed to treating all of its residents, including those who identify as immigrants, in a fair and just manner.”

“Through its commitment to social justice and inclusion, one of Easton’s most important objectives is to enhance relationships with all residents, including immigrants, and to make all residents, workers and visitors feel safe and secure regardless of immigration status,” the statement reads.

“Toward that end, the Town of Easton supports organizations like the Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center, whose mission is to strengthen immigrant families and to use all available resources to more fully integrate our immigrant residents into our community.”

The statement goes on to say that it is not the function of the Easton Police Department to enforce federal immigration laws, but rather focus on the safety and security of all the town’s residents, regardless of immigration status. That is a longstanding policy of Easton police, who do not check someone’s citizenship status when they interact with them or if they’re witnesses to a crime.

“Easton Police Officers will continue to work in good faith with its federal law enforcement partners to apprehend criminals, especially those that commit serious or violent crimes, regardless of their immigration status,” the statement reads.

“The Easton Police Department remains committed to upholding the laws it is empowered to enforce and to uphold the constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Maryland while recognizing it is not an authorized agent of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE).”

Easton Town Council members are among the town officials who have signed off on a letter that officially lays out Easton’s immigration policy. The town council worked on the statement in cooperation with the Easton Police Department, mayor and Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center.

It goes on to say, however, that the Town of Easton will continue to honor all duties imposed by a court order or any valid federal or applicable law. “But in the absence of such a court order or law, Easton will not use its funds, resources, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel to assist in the enforcement of federal civil immigration law or to gather information regarding the citizenship or immigration status of any person,” the statement reads.

“Easton recognizes that it is a part of a country born of immigrants and will continue to support efforts that assist our immigrant population in becoming fully vested citizens of our community.”

The statement is sort of a reaction to a reaction, Matthew Peters, Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center executive director said.