Advertisement

Letters: Howard’s contract with ICE makes communities less safe; and more from readers

Edith Mayer Cord, 91, an author and speaker who lives in Columbia, looks at a map of Jewish populations and Nazi detention sites in France during World War II. She survived the Holocaust by hiding under multiple false identities throughout France during the Nazi occupation. Her father and brother were arrested in France, deported to Auschwitz and murdered.
Edith Mayer Cord, 91, an author and speaker who lives in Columbia, looks at a map of Jewish populations and Nazi detention sites in France during World War II. She survived the Holocaust by hiding under multiple false identities throughout France during the Nazi occupation. Her father and brother were arrested in France, deported to Auschwitz and murdered. (Nate Pesce/Baltimore Sun Media Group)
Howard County must end contract with ICE

The Howard County Times recently published a story about Holocaust education in the Howard County Public School System (Aug. 1). As educators, students, survivors and residents work together to understand how best to learn from the Holocaust, we must also organize together against the eerily similar rhetoric and policies emanating from President Donald Trump’s White House, particularly those directed at immigrants.

We must recognize that “Never Again” is now. In doing so, it is imperative that we move swiftly to end contracts between Immigration and Customs Enforcement and local law enforcement in Maryland, such as the Intergovernmental Service Agreement in effect in Howard County. The ICE mass deportation and family separation apparatus, which has grown exponentially under the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations has under President Trump become increasingly overt in using cruelty and collective punishment as a misguided deterrent strategy, to deadly effect.

Advertisement

Howard County has received more than $14 million in federal funding since 2013 from its contract with ICE, renting out sections of the Howard County Detention Center to detain immigrants awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge. This policy makes immigrant communities — and all our communities — less safe by decreasing trust between immigrants, their families and neighbors, and local government institutions. Moreover, Howard County’s participation in escalating detention and deportation makes it, and by extension all of us, complicit with the concentration camps at the border and family separation closer to home.

As Jews in Howard County and across Maryland, we call on County Executive Calvin Ball to end collaboration with ICE’s cruelty. A model for such basic decency can be found just next door in Anne Arundel County, where County Executive Steuart Pittman took this step upon assuming office last year. Ending collaboration with Trump’s deportation machine will align Howard County with its core value of civility, and affirm our belief that families belong together.

Together, we stand united in saying: “Never Again” is now. Close the camps. County Executive Ball: End the Intergovernmental Service Agreement and keep families together.

Rabbi Jeremy Kridel and Dr. Anna Rubin

Rabbi Jeremy Kridel, of Machar: the Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism, lives in Ellicott City. Dr. Anna Rubin, a Columbia resident, is a retired associate professor of music at University of Maryland, Baltimore County and is the co-chair of the Columbia Jewish Congregation’s Social Justice (Tikkun Olam) Committee.

Socioeconomics play into schools diversity

I fully support the intent of the resolution sponsored by Howard County Council members Christiana Mercer Rigby, Opel Jones and Deb Jung, which is to optimize the educational achievement of all the students in our public schools.

For many reasons I need not list, students do not thrive as well if there is too high a concentration of FARMs students in a school, and it is laudable to take reasonable measures to integrate the schools socioeconomically. If there are situations where this cannot be done reasonably — for example, requiring significant busing or splitting a coherent neighborhood between two schools — then extra resources may need to be devoted to schools with a higher concentration of FARMs students.

My concern arises because of the inclusion of the racial integration objective. Racial segregation is no longer legal in the U.S. Although my neighborhood is predominantly white, I have neighbors of many ethnicities, and I see the kids playing together, socializing and truly integrating. My friends also come from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds. I have not seen statistics on the subject, but I suspect that minority children from my neighborhood do as well in school as their white counterparts.

I strongly suspect that the disparities in achievement come from socioeconomic differences and not racial ones and that socioeconomic integration should address the issue of achievement. In addition, since socioeconomic level is correlated with race, this would also increase racial integration.

Another difficulty of discussing racial integration in a county like Howard is how we would categorize race and distribute the students. First of all, there are a lot of mixed-race families in our county. How will we categorize the children? Second, there are many races in the county: white, black and then it gets complicated. What about a student named Garcia whose family has been here for four generations? And “Asian” certainly is too broad a category. We have a lot of Koreans, Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and so on. These folks all come from rich and different cultures. How nuanced is this racial classification to go? Are some races more worthy of integration than others?

My conclusion is that we will be able to accomplish more if we try to integrate by socioeconomic level than by color and that by doing the former we will achieve a lot of the latter.

Angie Boyter

Ellicott City

Don’t get fined for expired car tags

As I drive in and around Columbia and Maryland in general, I’ve been noticing a number of vehicles on the road that are not properly registered (i.e. they have expired license plates). Every two years you need to register your vehicle with the DMV.

Advertisement

About six weeks before your registration expires, the DMV will send you a bill to re-register your tags. If paid, you will receive a year sticker that is two years from now (i.e. for 2019 you will receive a 2021 sticker). All you need to do is place the new (2021) sticker over the old (2019) sticker.

Just today I saw a vehicle with a 2018 sticker. Those tags were more than six months expired. If you are stopped, you will receive a fine of $100 for expired tags and you will not be able to move your vehicle. Please check out your rear tags on your car and, if necessary, work with the DMV to get them updated. Thank you.

Paul Boyle

Columbia

Advertisement
Advertisement