Summary: The Prevent Extortion of Immigrants Act specifies that an attempt to obtain money, property, labor, services or anything of value from a person based on a threat to notify law enforcement about any person’s immigration status is guilty of extortion.
Source: Maryland HB 493 enacted May 2016. California, Colorado and Virginia have enacted similar laws. For a discussion of the Maryland law, click here.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This Act shall be called the “Prevent Extortion of Immigrants Act.”
SECTION 2. PURPOSE
This law is enacted to protect the health, safety and welfare of all state residents.
SECTION 3. EXTORTION BASED ON IMMIGRATION STATUS
After section XXX, paragraph XXX [current extortion law] the following new clause shall be inserted:
NOTIFICATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS ABOUT ANOTHER PERSON’S UNDOCUMENTED OR ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION STATUS.
Bill drafting note: An extortion law with this clause inserted would read like this:
A person may not obtain, attempt to obtain, or conspire to obtain money, property, labor, services, or anything of value from another person with the person’s consent, if the consent is induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened:
(1) force or violence;
(2) economic injury;
(3) destruction, concealment, removal, confiscation, or possession of any immigration or government identification document with intent to harm the immigration status of another person; OR
(4) NOTIFICATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS ABOUT ANOTHER PERSON’S UNDOCUMENTED OR ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION STATUS.
SECTION 4. EFFECTIVE DATE
This law shall become effective on July 1, 20XX.