Welcome to FindLaw's coverage of existing Maryland legislation and rules related to individuals' immigration status. First off, however, it is important to be aware of the relationship and tension between state and federal law when it comes to subjects involving immigration. Below you will find information on what, if any, rules Maryland has regarding immigration checks by law enforcement, educational institutions, and employers, as well as the existence of E-Verify requirements, restrictions on public benefits based on an individual's immigration status, and more.
Law Enforcement and Immigration in Maryland
Although immigration and enforcement are typically matters dealt with by federal immigration authorities, an increasing number of local and county law enforcement officials are starting to assist with, investigate, or pursue suspected immigration-related offenses. Also, under a federal program known as "Secure Communities", all individuals arrested are fingerprinted and run through a database which checks their immigration status. However, some states are considering and sometimes passing legislation permitting local governments to "opt out" of such programs.
Under federal law, employers should refer to federal employment eligibility verification rules, as well as the requirements for Form I-9.
Maryland E-Verify Requirements
Maryland does not impose E-Verify requirements on state or local agencies, nor does it require that private employers use E-Verify to confirm the legal employment status of new hires.
Driver's License/ID Requirements
Applicants for driver's licenses in Maryland are required to provide documents establishing their identity, lawful presence in the country, Social Security Number, and residence in the state. Please refer to the Maryland Department of Motor Vehicle's website for a full list of documents that can be used to prove eligibility.
Public Benefits Restrictions
Under federal law, illegal immigrants are prohibited from receiving public benefits, although they are allowed to receive emergency services, health care, and other programs that have been identified as "necessary to protect life and safety."
Maryland is amongst the minority of states that allow qualifying illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state schools.
Voter ID Rules
Maryland currently does not have state-issued voter ID requirements, although legislative efforts to address voter identification are ongoing. In the meantime, however, baseline federal requirements for identification for first-time voters and registrants do apply.
Housing Ordinances and Immigration
Have Questions About Maryland Immigration Laws? Talk to an Attorney
Are your rights as an immigrant being respected? And just how much authority does the state have over immigration matters, which are within the jurisdiction of the federal government? If you have questions such as these, you may want to speak with an immigration attorney near you.
Contact a qualified immigration attorney to help you get the best results possible.