Immigrant Youth Win “Freedom City” Resolution in Gaithersburg, Maryland

Bruna Bouhid Press Releases

Immigrant Youth and Families in Gaithersburg have rallied local officials for months to protect their community from the deportation force

For Immediate Release
Contact: Bruna Bouhid | bruna@unitedwedream.org | 202-850-0812

Gaithersburg, MD On Monday evening, the City Council of Gaithersburg, MD passed (3-0) a binding resolution titled “Reaffirming the City’s Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, Freedom and Justice and Denouncing Anti-immigrant Speech, Hate Crimes and Harassment.”

The Gaithersburg resolution can be read here and includes provisions regarding the respect for diversity and inclusion as well as policy provisions regarding the treatment of Gaithersburg residents by law enforcement and city employees.

The resolution was passed on the same night that Gaithersburg native and award winning hip hop artist Logic delivered a powerful performance with immigrant youth and families who have been victimized by the Deportation Force at the MTV Video Music Awards.

For months, United We Dream’s DMV youth and families, have had a constant presence at public meetings and have demonstrated outside of City Hall demanding that their city officials protect them from being put in detention camps and then deported away from their families by the brutal Deportation Force. The Gaithersburg resolution is a model for the nation of how local communities can step up in this moment of crisis.

Luz Chavez, DACA recipient from Gaithersburg and youth leader from United We Dream, said: “I feel overwhelmed and  happy knowing that my city is taking actions to ensure that all of its residents can thrive. Today my city stood on the side of freedom and I’m grateful for my community members who worked hard to make this happen.”

Ibrahim Pinzon, DACA recipient from Gaithersburg and youth leader from United We Dream, said: “So much work and determination went into this ‘Freedom City’ campaign.  This resolution means safety, protection and assurance for undocumented immigrants in our community.”

The resolution delivers a very important message of inclusion and respect for diversity as well as binding policy decisions such as:

  • “That unless required by Federal, State, or local law or judicial decision, no City official or employee will request, investigate or assist in the investigation of the citizenship or immigration status of any person.”
  • “That unless required by Federal, State or local law or judicial decision, no member of the Gaithersburg Police Department is authorized to enforce Federal immigration laws or inquire about immigration or citizenship status or place of birth of an arrestee or victim of a crime.”
  • “That no City official or employee acting in their official capacity with the City, may coerce a person based upon their actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status or communicate a threat to deport a person under circumstances that reasonably tend to intimidate or produce a fear that the threat will be carried out.”

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United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation, a powerful network made up of over 400,000 members and 48 affiliate organizations across 26 states. UWD’s vision is to build a multi-racial, multi-ethnic movement of young people who organize and advocate at the local and national levels for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color in the United States.