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Keyword: diversity and equity

County Executive Kamenetz and Khizr Khan Joined Community and Religious Leaders Calling for Preserving American Values of Equal Rights 

Patriot Plaza in Towson came alive as a diverse crowd of people answered Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s “A Call for Unity” at a regional rally featuring Gold Star Family Member Khizr Khan.

The rally, co-hosted by the Baltimore County Human Relations Commission, featured Kamenetz, Khan and dozens of community, religious and cultural leaders who took to the stage to bring awareness to the importance of diversity and of eradicating discrimination and hatred in the Baltimore area and around the country.

Kamenetz proclaimed July 12 as Unity Day in Baltimore County and presented Khan with an Executive Citation for standing up for the Constitutional rights of immigrants by promoting fairness, equality and human rights for all.

Khan, the father of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan who lost his life in 2004 serving in Iraq, spoke passionately about the right of equal treatment for all citizens and presented Kamenetz with a pocket sized copy of the U.S. Constitution.  

Referencing Baltimore County’s diverse population and his April 5 Executive Order on Law Enforcement Standards on Immigration Status, Diversity and Equity, Kamenetz said, “In Baltimore County, we are standing up to those who seek to divide us,” and, “the true measure of a government is how we treat the downtrodden, those who are most vulnerable.”

Khan spoke at length, sharing how he and his wife suffered persecution in other countries and how they decided to speak out against injustices here, particularly protecting the rights of immigrant children. “The divisiveness and discrimination threatening our communities is totally un-American,” he said. “America is a place of equal protection, equal dignity and plurality where all citizens are treated equally. If you go to the darkest corners of the world and share with them the values of the United States, enlisted in our Constitution, they all wish to come here. It is that standard that I hope the rest of the nation will celebrate.”

A lively crowd of attendees showed their support by chanting, ringing cowbells and applauding speakers from the Baltimore County Human Relations Commission, Commission for Women, Amigos of Baltimore County, the Islamic Society of Baltimore, Bridge Maryland and clergy from multiple denominations.

The event was also supported by the Baltimore Jewish Council, the Baltimore County NAACP, the AL Farooq Foundation, Daryl Bass, the Greater Baltimore Muslim Council and the Islamic Society of Baltimore. 

Photos from the event are available online at https://flic.kr/s/aHskZj6hqi. Please feel free to share them. 


Reiterates Commitment to Law Enforcement Standards on Immigration Status, Diversity and Equity

In response to the County Council choosing not to vote on a bill that would have altered the duties of the Baltimore County Department of Corrections to include certain immigration law enforcement functions, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz issued the following statement:

"My Executive Order promotes public safety and upholds the Constitution. The Republican council bill was more about bringing Donald Trump’s divisive politics to our county than doing what is best for our residents. I'm glad the council didn't move forward with this legislation.”

The complete Executive Order is below:

EXECUTIVE ORDER

LAW ENFORCEMENT STANDARDS ON IMMIGRATION STATUS, DIVERSITY AND EQUITY

                WHEREAS, Baltimore County residents fully support our country's rich heritage of welcoming immigrants from around the world who come to America seeking a better life in pursuit of the American Dream; and

                WHEREAS, Baltimore County has welcomed an increasingly diverse population that parallels statewide demographics; and

                WHEREAS, Baltimore County recognizes that public trust and confidence in local government and law enforcement policies are essential to a fair and orderly government; and

                WHEREAS, the Baltimore County Police Department prides itself on the positive relationship that it has maintained with the County’s resident population, including its immigrant community,  and maintenance of positive relationships are key to keeping our neighborhoods safe; and

                WHEREAS, as part of that relationship, all residents must feel safe and secure to cooperate with Baltimore County Police Officers to report crimes and offer assistance in resolving criminal activity; and

                WHEREAS, from time to time it is necessary to reiterate the policies and precepts necessary to maintain public order and discourse, consistent with the laws of the county, state, and federal governments, their respective judicial branch holdings, and the Constitutions of Maryland and the United States.

                NOW, THEREFORE, I, Kevin Kamenetz, as County Executive of Baltimore County, on this 5th day of April 2017, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Baltimore County Charter, do hereby promulgate the following EXECUTIVE ORDER for Baltimore County, Maryland:

                1. No Baltimore County Department, agency, officer or employee shall discriminate against any person within Baltimore County based on confirmed or suspected race, creed, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, status as a veteran, physical or mental disability, immigration status, and/or inability to speak English.

                2. No Baltimore County Department, agency, officer or employee shall condition the provision of County services or benefits on the immigration status of the individual seeking those services or benefits unless such conditions are lawfully imposed by federal or state law.

                3. No Baltimore County Police Officer shall make inquiry of a person's immigration status for the purpose of initiating civil enforcement of immigration proceedings, except in the case of a criminal warrant signed by a judicial official.

                4.  No personnel within the Police Department or Department of Corrections shall cause to be detained any individual beyond their court ordered release date, except upon reasonable belief of the existence of an order of detainer issued by a properly recognized judicial official.

                5. Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to prohibit any Baltimore County Police Officer or employee from participating in task force activities with county, state or federal criminal law enforcement authorities.

                6. Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to prohibit any Baltimore County Police Officer from investigating violations of criminal law.

                7. Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to prohibit any Baltimore County Police Officer from cooperating with federal immigration authorities in the investigation and apprehension of undocumented immigrants suspected of criminal activity.

                8. This Executive Order shall take effect immediately according to its terms.


 
 
Revised September 26, 2016