Howard County Council Plans Vote on Immigrant Sanctuary Proposal

The Howard County Council is set to vote Monday on whether to declare the county a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants, less than two weeks after President Donald J. Trump issued an order to withhold federal grants from jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.

The suburban county has wrestled for weeks with the idea of formally directing police and other agencies not to ask people about their immigration status or provide information to help the federal government enforce immigration law.

The proposal, which predates Trump’s election, spurred two lengthy, passionate public hearings in the county. Hundreds of residents testified on both sides of the legislation.

The debate intensified after Trump suspended refugee admissions and banned visitors from seven countries with Muslim majorities. A federal judge temporarily blocked the travel ban Friday evening.