The Land of Milk and Honey

Thursday January 19, 2017

Last night, and tonight, Howard County Council is debating CB-9, a bill to prohibit discrimination based on citizenship status in County affairs. Here’s my testimony:

Good evening, Chairman Weinstein and members of the Council. Thank you for the opportunity to speak tonight.

I am Dr. James Howard and have spent most of the last five years as a consultant in law enforcement at U.S. Customs and Border Protection. There, my work focused on southern border security, counternarcotics, and countertrafficking. I have also been a consultant to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, working in fraud detection. I am here tonight to testify in support of CB-9.

I support CB-9 because it protects everyone, regardless of race, color, or immigration status by securing the equal protections guaranteed under the United States and Maryland Constitutions. There has been much fear mongering about the outcomes, it is baseless. I’ve heard that we will lose federal funding, though some departments already enforce the proposed policy. I’ve heard that we will see a decline in property values, a frivolous concern, but still not one born out of experience. San Francisco is the poster child for sanctuary cities and its real estate market is the strongest in the nation. I’ve heard threats wielded against supporters of every stripe.

What this proposal will do is strengthen the existing enforcement mechanisms the County has. The Police will have ensured access to victims and witnesses. The Department of Planning and Zoning will be able to better enforce the zoning code. Social Services may provide effective services to mothers and children in need. We will see a tool of harassment and intimidation stripped from abusers. We already have adopted this de facto, and Howard County is routinely rated as a number one community in every imaginable survey. Guaranteeing these protections will only make us stronger, together.

Thank you, and I look forward to the increased protection this bill will provide us all.

Images, as always, via Wikimedia Commons.