Frederick County Immigrant Affairs Commission Could Live On

A resolution to continue the board is before the County Council.

Frederick, Md (KM) A resolution to keep the Frederick County Immigrant Affairs Commission in operation is before the County Council.

The panel was created in February, 2021 to meet the needs and concerns of the county’s immigrant population. The Commission was to remain in existence for two years, and then submit a status report to the County Executive and the County Council before disbanding.

During last Tuesday’s meeting, several citizens urged the Council to keep the Immigrant Affairs Commission in operation. Reverend Mike Morse spoke on behalf of the RISE Coalition> “We live in a time when immigrant-bashing and blatant bigotry abound; where disparaging the very presence of immigrants has been turned into a sick sport,” he said. “I hope that we in Frederick can be a counterpoint to that narrative.”

Walter Ruby also represents the RISE Coalition. He noted that a lot of immigrants have taken on some high risk jobs, such as in construction, pointing the six workers who plunged into the Patapsco River after the Francie Key Bridge in Baltimore collapsed. Most were from Central America. “And we shouldn’t forget the six construction workers from a year ago who were killed on the Baltimore Beltway when a car crashed into their work site. Two of these workers were from Frederick, and two others  from Union Bridge,” :he said.

In addition, Ruby said the county’s immigrant population is growing. “The 2020 Census counted foreign born residents is a total of 18 percent out of 271,000 total population of Frederick County. Hispanic residents counted at 11.9 percent and Asian at 6.3 percent. These numbers are also reflected in the Frederick County Public Schools,”: he said.

Mary Dennis, representing Frederick County Progressives, called in to express he support. “The IAC provides for the immigrant residents of Frederick County an important voice, an advocacy role and a means for meaningful engagement in equitable access to county resources,” she said.

The County Council is expected to vote on the resolution at their April 16th meeting.

By Kevin McManus