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O'Malley and Brewer, protecting America's borders

Gov. Martin O'Malley will co-chair a national panel on homeland security with Arizona Gov. Janice Brewer, the most prominent champion of her border state's controversial new immigration law.

O'Malley, a Democrat, was reappointed Sunday to the committee of the National Governors Association. Brewer, a Republican, will serve a term as his co-chair.

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The Arizona law, which takes effect this month, requires police officers to determine the immigration status of a suspect if they have a "reasonable suspicion" that the individual is in the country illegally. Critics say the requirement will lead to racial profiling; supporters say it is a necessary response to the failure of the federal government to secure the borders.

Attorney General Eric Holder filed a federal lawsuit last week seeking to stop the enforcement of the law.

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The NGA committee develops policies to illustrate how federal action affects states, Baltimore Sun colleague Liz Kay writes. In the past, the NGA has issued statements on the 2005 Real ID Act, which established national standards on all state-issued identification; on immigration and refugees; and on cybersecurity, support for military families and illegal drug trafficking.

"There are a lot of issues that by necessity should be worked on across the aisle and across state borders," O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec tells Kay. "There are a lot of homeland security issues that are separate from patrolling the borders."

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