BALTIMORE (AP) - Maryland's governor says a state jail in Baltimore will no longer automatically comply with federal requests to hold immigrants past their release date for possible deportation.
Gov. Martin O'Malley says the Baltimore City Detention Center will now consider the severity of the charges a person is facing when reviewing U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement requests to hold immigrants through the "Secure Communities" program. O'Malley notified Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson of the change in a letter released last week.
The Democrat preparing for a possible 2016 presidential bid says the new policy will focus on complying with detainers "when there is an actual threat to the public's safety."
Immigrants' rights advocates praised the move, but critics say the program should not be sidestepped.