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ABAG Member: Open Society Institute-Baltimore launches SAFE CITY BALTIMORE

Monday, May 1, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tausi Suedi
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Source: Open Society Institute-Baltimore

In response to the President’s executive order, “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” and a series of raids in the Baltimore region by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, Open Society Institute-Baltimore will launch SAFE CITY BALTIMORE: An Immigrant Education and Defense Fund.

The executive order and increased ICE activity have sown widespread fear in local communities, kept children out of schools, and broken up families. The fund will work to educate our region’s immigrant communities about their legal rights before, during, and after such raids, help those with legal claims to stay in the US, and provide representation for those detained and facing deportation.

In establishing this fund and carrying out this work, OSI-Baltimore is working closely with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs (MIMA) and the many community and advocacy groups already working on the ground.

This work is aligned with the experience and priorities of both the Open Society Foundations (OSF) and the Baltimore office. Open Society has long held that fundamental fairness as well as recognition of the important role of immigrants in the national and regional economy require comprehensive immigration reform.  The current administration is hostile to that vision; instead, we are seeing a surge of immigration enforcement activities that do not focus on those immigrants who have committed serious crimes and that often violate individuals’ rights. Local immigrants—often longtime residents—wake up each day fearful, afraid for themselves and for their families. Like so many others, we want to respond to the excesses we see at the national level that deeply affect local communities, so, when MIMA approached us, we were eager to help by establishing SAFE CITY BALTIMORE.

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