Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is issuing an executive order prohibiting police officers from asking about a person’s citizenship status.
Rawlings-Blake issued the order Friday to all city agencies barring discrimination against immigrants. It bars use of city funds to investigate or question people suspected of violating of federal immigration law unless required by the state or U.S. government.
The move comes days after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it would begin implementing the Secure Communities program in Baltimore. Under the program, federal authorities check the immigration status of people arrested and booked in local jails.
Baltimore officials are worried the policy will have a chilling effect on communication between the Hispanic community and police. They worry witnesses and crime victims will be afraid to come forward with information.