Defending Diversity

Bigotry must be opposed in all its forms and our leaders must create a culture of inclusiveness.


Joel comes from a family of immigrants and served in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica. Nilmini’s parents emigrated from Sri Lanka to the U.S. Joel’s is a multi- cultural home, one rich with diversity of heritage and perspectives. He will fight for justice and equality for all Marylanders and stand up to attacks on our democracy. Our region is an example of how diversity strengthens community, improves quality of life, and contributes to a thriving economy. Joel believes we succeed not by tolerating difference, but by celebrating it.


Joel favors sanctuary cities and counties. At a time of national trauma for our countries’ immigrant communities, we must do all we can to ensure that immigrant families are protected and kept safe. Our state has an opportunity to be a national model in this regard. Maryland should pass legislation that allows municipalities to opt-out of cooperation with federal authorities when immigration enforcement measures go beyond enforcement of illegal activity. An immigrant’s status should be excluded from such enforcement by the municipality and state, if they choose such a position.


Joel wants immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers to know that when they come to Maryland, they are coming to a state that will provide them with the full suite of social services that any other Marylander is entitled to, as long as they follow the law and do not engage in criminal behavior. They should also know that their children will be welcomed into our schools and provided with a quality educational program. Maryland can help reverse the national trends that make it harder and harder to be an immigrant in the United States. I think that fostering cooperation between our communities and our newest residents will increase civic participation, aid public safety, open new revenue streams, and speed the integration of new citizens into American society.