Tweet lands MoCo Republican council candidate in hot water

Montgomery County Council candidate Thomas “Tom” Ferleman tweeted a request from his personal Twitter account yesterday that some Montgomery County residents are characterizing as racist.

Ferleman, who lives in Germantown, is seeking the Republican nomination in District 2.

The Republican candidate’s tweet was in reference to the Council’s unanimous resolution that passed Tuesday calling on “national leaders to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible recipients from all nations currently covered, and to create a legal framework that would create a path to permanent residency for TPS holders, as well as beneficiaries of and people eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).”

El Salvador Ambassador Claudia Ivette Canjura de Centeno of the General Consul Ena Peña attended Tuesday’s Council session to voice their support for the resolution. 

The Council released the following press release regarding the resolution that passed Tuesday.

Council Approves Resolution Urging Protections for TPS and DACA Recipients and Creation of a Path to Permanent Residency

Councilmembers call on federal government to ensure legal status of beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

 

ROCKVILLE, Md., December 12, 2017—The Montgomery County Council unanimously passed a resolution today calling on national leaders to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for eligible recipients from all nations currently covered, and to create a legal framework that would create a path to permanent residency for TPS holders, as well as beneficiaries of and people eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Ambassador of El Salvador Claudia Ivette Canjura de Centeno, General Consul Ena Peña, and Maryland Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez attended the Council session to voice their support for the resolution, which was introduced by Councilmember George Leventhal and Council Vice President Nancy Navarro, was co-sponsored by all other Councilmembers.  

“Countless TPS holders and DACA recipients call Montgomery County home. They are our neighbors, our co-workers, our colleagues and our friends.” said Councilmember Leventhal, who serves as chair of the Council’s Health and Human Services Committee. “To kick them out of the Country, without regard to how it would affect our economy or our schools is short-sighted, thoughtless and cruel.”  

“The families and young people who are TPS holders and DACA recipients are an integral part of Montgomery County,” said Council Vice President Navarro, who serves as chair of the Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee.  “They make extraordinary contributions to our County. Terminating the status for TPS and DACA recipients would be destabilizing for our community, and would have a significant negative impact on our tax base.”   

The current administration has announced that it will no longer renew TPS for nationals from Nicaragua, Haiti, and other nations, breaking with decades of precedent. The Department of Homeland Security is currently reviewing possible termination of all other TPS programs, including TPS benefits for 250,000 Salvadorans and 57,000 Hondurans, two nationalities which comprise the majority of Maryland’s TPS holders. The status of all 800,000 DACA recipients, also known as Dreamers, will likewise expire in March 2018 if they are not provided with a path to legalize their status.  

“It is wrong to send away our resident who have become such an integral part of our community,” said Councilmember Katz.  “It is also important to protect our children who are a valuable resource and represent our future.”   

Maryland is home to the second largest population of TPS holders nationally, with 19,800 from El Salvadoralone, as well as more than 9,700 Dreamers. The termination of TPS status and the DACA program would result in annual economic losses of approximately $1.6 billion to Maryland, as well as putting individuals and families in perilous conditions and separating parents from their U.S.-born children.  

“For more than 20 years we have welcomed refugees from all over the world, allowing them to build a life in our community,” said Councilmember Elrich, who serves as chair of the Council’s Public Safety Committee. “They have obtained jobs legally and worked hard, started businesses, paid taxes, purchased homes, had children, and built rich lives for themselves in their new home. They are valued members of our community, yet this new policy threatens to tear families apart—to separate children from parents, breadwinners from their families, spouses from one another. It is the antithesis of family values, and will leave a hole in the fabric of our community and our country of immigrants. I join my colleagues in urging the federal government to find a legislative solution to the crisis created by the termination of TPS status and the DACA program.”  

The full text of the resolution can be viewed at: