To: The Maryland State House and The Maryland State Senate

An Open Letter to the Maryland Legislature and Governor Larry Hogan from Maryland AAPIs

We are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and Maryland residents who stand in support of the Maryland Trust Act, a policy that would promote safety for all Maryland residents. We urge the Maryland State Legislature to pass the Maryland Trust Act and for Governor Hogan to sign it.

In the current environment when immigrants are under attack from many directions, we are proud to see our Legislature moving forward on the Maryland Trust Act with support from AAPI legislators. The Maryland Trust Act would disentangle Maryland police and government agencies from immigration enforcement, making our communities safer. Mandating or incentivizing local police to enforce immigration law jeopardizes public safety for all residents by reducing community trust and cooperation with police and by diverting resources away from keeping our communities safe. Immigrant victims and witnesses of crimes are less likely to come forward when police engage in immigration enforcement.

We are signing this petition because there is a small but vocal group of Asian Americans in Maryland who have been speaking out in opposition to the Maryland Trust Act. We write to say that they do not speak for all Maryland AAPIs. While we would support this bill even if it only affected Latinos and African immigrants, it is important to note that it affects AAPIs as well. Nationwide, there are an estimated 1.6 million undocumented Asian immigrants. In Maryland, there are around 37,000 undocumented Asian immigrants and they make up close to 16% of Maryland’s undocumented population.

The Maryland Trust Act also sends a message that Maryland is a state that welcomes and values immigrants. At a time when we are experiencing a climate of rising Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism and anti-immigrant sentiment that has resulted in a significant jump in hate-motivated attacks across the country, we need our state to step up. As AAPIs and Marylanders, we must stand united against any and all attacks against all in our communities. Only by uniting to protect all Maryland residents will be able to truly defend the American values that we hold dear. Support the Maryland Trust Act.

Why is this important?

We are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and Maryland residents who stand in support of the Maryland Trust Act, a policy that would promote safety for all Maryland residents. We are signing this petition because there is a small but vocal group of Asian Americans in Maryland who have been speaking out in opposition to the Maryland Trust Act. We write to say that they do not speak for all Maryland AAPIs.

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Reasons for signing

  • Thank you for protecting immigrants.
  • As a Howard county resident I hope that this bill passes and is not vetoed by the governor. A similar bill in Howard county was vetoed recently by county executive Kittleman. this is a chance for these protections to be enacted state wide. I encourage Governor Hogan not to veto the bill.
  • My father migrated from Germany in 1923 and my mother's parents migrated from the German-portion of Poland in 1910. They worked as hard as today's arrivals. Having lived in Baltimore since 1974, I see improvements in neighborhoods where Hispanics have settled. We can all benefit from welcoming them into Maryland.