Thinking Freely is a political podcast, from the ACLU of Maryland, informing people about what's happening politically in Maryland from the courts to the streets. You'll hear from ACLU staff, our clients, and community leaders about the issues facing our civil liberties and how you can get involved.
United States
since July 15, 2019


Our immigrant communities need to be supported. Instead, their lives and rights have increasingly been attacked, especially under the Trump Administration. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has prioritized building more 287(g) partnerships, where local law enforcement officers are deputized as federal immigration agents. Local police only have to go through a month of training to be fully participating officers and there’s little accountability for rights violations. Across the country, a growing number of counties are participating in this program, including 3 in Maryland. These dangerous programs undermine public safety by causing many immigrants to fear law enforcement.  In this episode, we hear from Flor Garay of the RISE Coalition of Western Maryland and Sergio España of the ACLU of Maryland to talk about how the 287(g) program has impacted Maryland residents – and what we can do about it. NOTE: The phrase “America is a country of immigrants” is often a well-intended phrase that has often unintended biases. The phrase ignores two major parts of American history. First, it ignores that this nation was created on land violently stolen from Native Americans/Indigenous people. These peoples were here first and we need to as a nation better understand that history. Second, it ignores that millions of Black people are descended from people who were stolen from Africa and sold into slavery. They are not immigrants. Words matter and understanding the history of these phrases help us create a more perfect union. This podcast was recorded on Piscataway land.


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