UPDATE: An earlier version of this indicated the the Annapolis Fire and Police Departments have endorsed this resolution; in fact, they have not.
Aldermen Jared Littmann and Ian Pfeiffer, with the support of CASA and the NAACP, will hold a press conference at 6 p.m. Monday, January 9, announcing the introduction of an ordinance prohibiting discrimination by City employees against foreign-born residents and, instead, embracing inclusion.
The Non-Discrimination of Foreign-Born Residents legislation, co-sponsored by Alderman Littmann, Ward 5, and Alderman Pfeiffer, Ward 7, seeks to recognize the importance of accommodating the culturally diverse contributions of foreign-born residents to social, religious, cultural, academic, and economic life in Annapolis.
“We believe it is important for our city to acknowledge the contributions of all residents, including those born outside this country who have chosen Annapolis as their home,” said Littmann. “This legislation will also advance public safety by strengthening the community relationship between our foreign-born residents and the police.”
This legislation will extend protections to foreign-born residents from being questioned about immigration status when it is not relevant to providing City services or benefits. It will prohibit any City employee from discriminating, refusing to offer city services, and/or having the Annapolis Police Department question an individual solely on the basis of one’s immigration status when that status is not applicable.
“We think this ordinance goes a long way to protect immigrants who have been the target of attacks and could see their lives change under new federal laws and regulations,” said CASA’s Regional Director Elizabeth Alex.
The ordinance is supported by CASA, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), St. John’s College, the City of Annapolis Human Relations Commission.
“I applaud the Annapolis City Council for considering an ordinance designed to reflect the City’s character, welcoming its foreign-born residents and assuring them that they will be treated by the City the same as individuals born in the United States. The Ordinance under consideration respects Federal authority in matters related to immigration enforcement, while acknowledging that the City’s very different interests lie in building and supporting a community that has confidence and trust in its local officials to protect all of its residents, irrespective of their place of origin,” said President of St. John’s College Chris Nelson.
Annapolis residents who will be directly affected by the ordinance will be in attendance.