It was noted by many sources that agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were seen around Columbia Maryland this morning. This afternoon Howard County Executive Calvin Ball released the following statement:
County Executive Ball Releases Statement on ICE Activity
ELLICOTT CITY – Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball released the following statement:
“We have learned that there was ICE activity in Howard County this morning, with many rumors swirling that led to understandable fear. To clarify, this activity was part of a specific, standard criminal enforcement operation, not a raid or sweep. Howard County Police were not involved in the operation in any way.
Though I want to put a stop to any misinformation, I also want to reassure every resident that Howard County opposes the criminalization of undocumented people and our priority continues to be the safety and security of everyone in our community.
I want to be clear, Howard County Police do not and will not assist ICE in the enforcement of civil violations of federal immigration laws. Officers in Howard County do not ask residents about their immigration status, nor do they contact ICE if they learn of a civil violation of federal immigration laws.
Last week, I joined with other elected officials across the region to speak out on behalf our immigrant communities and on the importance of safeguarding our civil rights. Today, I stand firm in those beliefs and will continue working to protect the dignity and safety of all our residents. In Howard County, we believe diversity is our strength and we will always value inclusion above division.
To all residents of Howard County, undocumented or documented, I assure you that your County government will keep working to put your public safety first. To know your rights and help protect your neighbors, I encourage you to use this resource from the National Immigration Law Center.
Our community will not be baited by fear and we must hold tight to our shared value of compassion. Howard County stands united against hate and in solidarity with one another.”