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Baltimore Mayor Against Questioning Citizenship Status

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Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks in front of her husband, Kent Blake, at her inauguration ceremony in Baltimore, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake speaks in front of her husband, Kent Blake, at her inauguration ceremony in Baltimore, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011.

An executive order from the desk of Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is prohibiting police officers from asking about a person's citizenship status.

The order bars discrimination against immigrants, and bans the use of city funds to investigate or question people suspected of violating of federal immigration law unless required by the state or U.S. government.

The move comes days after U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it would begin implementing the Secure Communities program in Baltimore. Under the program, federal authorities check the immigration status of jail inmates.

Baltimore officials are worried the policy will have a chilling effect on communication between the Hispanic community and police. They worry witnesses and crime victims will be afraid to come forward with information.

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