Last week, Senator Ben Cardin‘s office invited a number of local Indivisible groups to a town hall they were hosting in the Bykota Senior Center in Towson. Members from BMore Indivisible, Indivisible Towson, Indivisible North Baltimore County, and others, along with members of the community packed the venue as Senator Cardin made brief introductory remarks and then took questions on a wide range of topics for over an hour.
At the event, we thanked Senator Cardin for joining the rest of the Baltimore delegation in speaking out against Attorney General Jeff Sessions threat to withhold Department of Justice federal funding from Baltimore City over its refusal to detain immigrants at its detention facility.
We asked Senator Cardin about his position on three pending immigration bills, supported by President Trump, coming before the Senate:
- RAISE Act
- Kate’s Law
- No Sanctuary for Criminals Act
He was unequivocal in his opposition to all three bills and, when pressed, spoke forcefully about how he would help lead the effort to oppose them, by filibuster if necessary. He said the he was working with other Senate Democrats to plan a strategy to defeat these bills. Kate’s Law and No Sanctuary for Criminals Act both passed the House in late June, largely along party lines. However, Representative Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-2) was one of 24 House Democrats to vote in support of Kate’s Law, echoing remarks by Speaker Ryan and President Trump, that it would make communities safer – a claim rejected by Senator Cardin.
Because of limited time at the microphone, we spoke with Senator Cardin after the event about possible Congress responses to President Trump’s remarks equating White supremacists with counter-protesters in Charlottesville. Senator Cardin said that Dems had talked the previous day and that morning about a strategy responding to the President. He said, as of now, there is a House bill to censure the president, but no plans to do so yet in the Senate.
Senator Cardin will be holding another town hall on August 31, in Rockville, MD.