SAFE Act Press Conference

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March 8, 2018 - Annapolis, Maryland

Ana Sol Gutierrez - Delegate  
  • The SAFE Act is the same as the Trust act, but with a new name

    • So people feel safe in their communities, with law enforcement officers at a time when the environment is worsening

  • Tuesday @ 1pm - next hearing in the judiciary committee

  • There is a bill in direct opposition to this bill


Senator Susan Lee


  • Proud to join community leaders here to support this act

  • Chair of Asian-American Pacific Islanders Conference

  • At this time in DC when ultra-conservative members of congress won’t stand up for us, Marylanders must stand up for us, everyone in this state

  • “Immigrants, people of color, people from all different backgrounds, we built this country”

  • “The new immigrants that are coming here today, they’re taking our country to even greater heights”

  • We don’t want our communities to be singled out based on race, religion or background.

  • We need to maintain the trust built-up between law enforcement and the community


Ana Sol Gutierrez - Delegate


  • Black Caucus voted in support

  • Asian-American Pacific Islanders Caucus voted in support


Joseline Peña-Melnyk - Delegate


  • Given what is going on in the federal government with #45, i don’t like to mention his name

  • We must allow our neighbors to feel safe so they can trust their neighbors, law enforcement, taking their kids to school and not getting arrested in a parking lot, arrested going to a hospital.   


Ana Sol Gutierrez - Delegate  


  • Report than came out:

    • Guidance of Memorandum issued by Attorney General

      • Legal guidance for MD state and local law enforcement officials

        • Clarifies the concern of the community regarding ICE and detainers

          • Detainers can be issued by ICE requesting someone to be detained beyond the period of their sentence

            • This is a violation of the 4th amendment of our constitution - stated in this guidance

    • This bill would make us like California and other states that prefer to follow the law, protect the civil rights of individuals and not let unjustified detainers be served without a judicial warrant


Marice Morales - Delegate


  • Last year they worked extremely hard on this bill in the judiciary committee

  • Product of this bill is a bipartisan product

  • The 4 areas addressed by the SAFE Act:

    • Nobody will be detained without a warrant

    • Prohibiting registries based on immigration status and/or religion and other identifying factors

    • Creating safe harbors (no ICE)

      • Public schools

      • Hospital

      • Court Houses

  • The attorney general’s office implemented some of this, but it needs to be law

  • Biggest part of this act:

    • Outlawing the 287g program using correctional facilities in this state as an extension of ICE detention

  • So important to our families and communities living in fear

  • Over 12 localities passed SAFE act like protections

  • Our families are in fear

    • Afraid to show up:

      • Back to school night

      • Parent teachers conference days


Pam Queen - Delegate


  • The Black Caucus is supporting this bill and I’m proud to be working on this


Jimmy Tarlau - Delegate


  • 35% of district is Latino

    • 90% from El Salvador

  • Number 1 issue

    • People are fearful

      • Feaful before 45

      • More fearful now

  • MD has to step up its gain

    • Our residents who pay taxes, who work hard, who bring their kids tos chools are going to be protected

  • This is the year to get it passed


Jeff Waldstreicher - Delegate


  • Did everyone see that Jeff Sessions speech the other day?

  • He was rejected for a federal judgeship because he is:

    • A confederate sympathizer

    • A secessionist

    • A racist

  • Moment thick with irony / hypocricy when he extolled the powers of the federal government and its supremacy

  • Hen the fed govt acts unconstitutionally it is up to the state to protect its residents


Bonnie Campos


  • ACLU Montgomery County People Power member

  • 1 year ago I stood in this

  • Bill did not get out of the Senate Judiciary Committee

  • Bill considered too controversial

  • Why do we need a law for this? But isn’t this what a law is for?

  • Nobody would have predicted that our constitutional rights would be trampled on, unravelled and reversed

  • Many of the people behind me said we must move forward to educate as many people as we could about the value of this bill - protecting our community - those that have no voice, our immigrant neighbors, attacked regularly by this administration

  • This is a challenging bill

  • We learned that fear drove those that would normally protect the most vulnerable to retreat

  • This is an election year - and we’re told that a Republican Governor would never agree to this

  • We were told to wait - it is an election year. So we are here fighting back fear and refusing to give up. Giving up on this is giving up on our immigrant neighbors, our communities and feeling safe.

  • Giving up on what this state and country stand for: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness



Cecilia Plante


  • Member of MD legislative coalition

  • Interested in pushing / supporting progressive legislative

  • I was disappointed the TRUST act did not pass in the Senate (it passed the house)

  • I’m here because:

    • One thing that makes this nation and state stand apart from others:

      • We treat everyone the same

      • Supported by the constitution

    • I feel like we are losing our way

    • One of the tools being employed by law enforcement is immigration status which is leading to the creation of a separate class of people in this state and allowing for harassment and profile of anyone who is not white, be they a citizen or not

      • Not intended by constitution

  • Violation of immigration laws is a civil offense but has been elevated to the level of a violent crime by the rhetoric of the fearful and those who want to use it as a tool

  • Citizens are caught up in this dragnet

  • Laws are intended to make the many feel safe - this is what the SAFE Act is about; treating everyone as they are the same class of people - what our founding fathers intended, what our constitution requires; what our attorney general requires in his guidance - it is about time we listen


Roxanne Weiss


  • MoCo ACLU

  • I support the SAFE Act because without explicit guidance to our law enforcement officers, detaining someone beyond their release time is unconstitutional

    • This puts the officer and our jurisdiction at risk for a lawsuit whcih can cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.

  • Without law and order, we will decline into a lawless society

  • We want people to feel safe

  • The only way I can feel safe in my home is if my neighbor feels safe


Gwen Stewart


  • Women’s Democratic Club of Montgomery County

  • This bill is important for the safety of all in MD - those that live there and travel through there

  • If people don’t feel safe to come to the health care system, it makes it dangerous for everyone (e.g. TB can spread)




What’s the difference between this year’s bill and last year’s bill?


Ana Sol Gutierrez


  • Last year the concern that was brought out in the Senate was the detainer issue

  • This has been clarified by the office of the Attorney General

  • Detainers without a judicial warrant violate a person’s civil rights and the rights to constitutional protection

  • There is another bill that will be heard on the 13th along with the SAFE Act which tries to undo everything we are doing and says that the Dept. of Homeland Security can go to any correction / detention center and if there is someone serving their sentence they can be taken immediately by homeland security. This would be the 1st time in any state the violation to due process would be violated.

  • The hearing on the 13th will be interesting; please come and join us - if you can testify, I would certainly appreciate it

Notes from the press conference

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