Tuesday, July 23, 2024

MD Lt Gov Reaches Out To Latinos, Hears Immigration Policy Concerns


At the Hispanic Business Conference in Bethesda, MD, Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford sought to make inroads with the state’s Latino community even as some in attendance signaled unease over the state administration’s recent decision to cooperate with federal immigration authorities and notify federal agencies when undocumented immigrants are set to be released from detention facilities in the state. Describing Latinos as “an integral part” of the local economy, Rutherford announced appointments by Governor Larry Hogan of members to a Hispanic commission that aims to promote business interests in Maryland.

Pedro Palomino, founder of a Baltimore-based Spanish-language news site, expressed the growing sentiment in the audience at the new governor’s decision, and noted the change in policy from the O’Malley administration.  Saying, in part, that “what the former governor comprehended is that the Latino community is the base of this state. But I believe Governor Hogan still can correct this.”

The event, which showcased businesses from a wide-variety of industries in the state from healthcare, food and entertainment, was an opportunity for Rutherford to highlight economic policies of the Hogan administration and the reduction in red tape that the administration says allows more small businesses to excel.

Responding to concerns about detention policy such as the ones held by Palomino, Rutherford, the state’s number two elected official didn’t see the decision as an obstacle to building upon relationships in the larger Latino community. The Lt. Governor commented that “you’re notifying federal authorities when someone is being released from the detention center. If the community has a concern about that, we can work on it together.”

Washington Post