Maryland Prisons May Have to Notify Federal Authorities of Possible Immigrants

Maryland lawmakers are addressing a bill that, if approved, will require prisons in Maryland to inform federal authorities of an inmate’s questionable status in terms of being in the country illegally. According to a recent Baltimore Sun article, the bill could potentially save the state of Maryland millions of dollars. Reportedly, the bill may make it easier to detect and deport illegal immigrants instead of spending money on their incarceration, parole, and probation. However, the bill does not specify how prison officials will obtain information regarding immigration status. This uncertainty may impose discrimination upon inmates and increase tension within prisons.

Senator James E. DeGrange Sr. stated that the bill is a response to a law that went into effect in October 2009, making it mandatory for prison officials to issue identification cards to all inmates when released. Based on the article, many lawmakers are worried that illegal immigrants who are released from prison with these cards may use them to get various forms of identification. Lawmakers voted to restrict driver’s licenses from being given to people without documentation showing that they are in the U.S. legally. Before this, Maryland was one of only four states without any laws prohibiting such action.

The bill is also a response to the recent and notable rise in illegal immigrants present in Maryland. The article mentions that in 2008, prison officials noted the release of 114 foreign-born inmates into Maryland communities; however, they did not mention how many of these individuals were illegal immigrants qualifying for deportation. The bill would allow the deportation of illegal immigrants who have been convicted of a criminal offense but are supervised in the community and on either parole or probation.

At Alpert Schreyer, LLC, our skilled Maryland criminal defense lawyers recognize the many challenges a person faces when arrested for a crime. The circumstances surrounding an arrest in Maryland can become even more complicated for an individual whose legal status in the U.S. may be compromised. Whether you have been arrested for a weapons and guns violation, a drug and narcotics crime, or a DUI/DWI offense, the aggressive and experienced attorneys at Alpert Schreyer can help. Call us today at 866-444-6363 for a free and confidential consultation.

Source report: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/bal-md.immigrants10feb10,0,255515.story

About Andrew Alpert

+Andrew is one of the leading DUI and criminal defense attorneys in both the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia. He blogs about Maryland DUI law, has numerous videos on the subject and has been asked to appear on national television to offer his legal opinion on high-profile criminal cases.