Maryland Gov . Martin O’Malley has traditionally been a strong ally of President Barack Obama and his administration. During Obama’s bid for re-election in 2012, O’Malley raised over $1 million for the president’s campaign and, numerous times, supported him publicly in the media. However, the two seem to have reached an impasse where immigration reform is concerned.
Last Friday, O’Malley, while speaking at a meeting of the Democratic Governors Association being held in Nashville, Tennessee, made it clear that he feels deportation of unaccompanied immigrant children is not in their best interests and that he does not support it.
“We are Americans, and we do not return refugee kids who find themselves on our doorstep back into war-torn or famine-racked places where they will face certain death,” O’Malley told reporters. “I think we have to act like Americans.”
Unfortunately for all parties involved, O’Malley’s statements come in stark opposition to his actions. After having been called upon by the Obama administration to potentially house unaccompanied immigrant children in his home state, O’Malley raised objections to the opening of a federal shelter in Carroll County, Maryland. The shelter was to be built inside an old military building in Westminster. The building was spray painted with a misspelled and racist sentiment last week, perhaps validating O’Malley’s claims that it is an unfit venue for hosting immigrant children. The Baltimore Police Department is investigating the graffiti as a hate crime.
O’Malley is considering putting in a bid for the Democratic Party nomination for president in 2016, and immigration reform is sure to be at the forefront of his campaign platform. Many political analysts believe that his outspokenness on the immigration issue is an effort to distinguish himself from other potential candidates.
O’Malley has been an outspoken advocate for immigration reform in Maryland, approving a state “Dream Act” that provided undocumented immigrants with in-state tuition at local colleges and allowed those individuals to obtain driver’s licenses.