Gov. Martin O'Malley will be working closely with his controversial Arizona counterpart on homeland security and public safety issues as part of a National Governors Association committee.
The association announced during its annual meeting Sunday that Janice K. Brewer will serve a term as co-chair of a panel on homeland security and public safety issues with O'Malley, who is being reappointed to the post.
Brewer has made headlines for an Arizona law described by supporters and foes alike as the toughest measure in the country against illegal immigration. The law makes it a misdemeanor to lack proper immigration paperwork in Arizona. It also requires police officers, if they have a "reasonable suspicion" that someone is an illegal immigrant, to determine the person's immigration status. Brewer and the state have been named in a federal lawsuit intended to stop enforcement of the law from starting later this month.
The committee develops policies to illustrate how federal action affects states.
In previous years, the governors' group has issued policy statements on the 2005 Real ID Act, which established national standards on all state-issued identification, and on immigration and refugees, as well as cybersecurity, support for military families and illegal drug trafficking.
"There are a lot of issues that by necessity should be worked on across the aisle and across state borders," said O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec. "There are a lot of homeland security issues that are separate from patrolling the borders."
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