Maryland lawmakers are rallying support behind a proposal that would deny bail to detainees until they can provide documentation of their legal status in the United States.
Supporters say the law would crack down on the number of violent offenders in the state. Opponents of the bill say it would cost too much to keep nonviolent detainees incarcerated, rather than release them on bail.
The legislation is co-sponsored by 27 delegates, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Joseph Vallario Jr., D-Calvert and Prince Georges counties.
The Judiciary Committee is responsible for making a recommendation on the legislation to the General Assembly. The committee debated two other bills that would align Marylands immigration laws with the federal 287(g) program used in Arizona as well as Prince William and Frederick counties. The legislation would enable state and local police officers to function as federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents by detaining people who cannot provide documentation of their legal status.