Media Contact

Meredith Curtis Goode, 443-310-9946;

July 23, 2019
BALTIMORE, MD – Featuring Flor Garay of the RISE Coalition of Western Maryland and Sergio España of the ACLU of Maryland talking about how Black and Brown immigrants are gaining power in Frederick, the first episode of the ACLU’s new “Thinking Freely” podcast is now available. “Thinking Freely” is a powerful platform hosted and produced by Amber Taylor, ACLU’s Digital Communications Strategist. Its goal is to inform Marylanders about what's happening politically – from the courts to the streets – so they can get involved and realize a more equitable Maryland for all. 
“The ‘Thinking Freely’ podcast speaks to a younger, diverse audience of Marylanders who are interested in politics but who don’t know where to go or how to connect locally with the work happening here,” said Amber Taylor, producer and host of “Thinking Freely.” “We are trying to highlight not just the issues but also the passionate activists we are collaborating with who are doing really great work. The goal is to bring more awareness, more engagement, more support, so that you can make an even bigger impact on lives – for yourself and your community.”
In “Thinking Freely” you'll hear from people doing the work – often those directly impacted by pressing issues like police abuse, ICE raids, mass incarceration, and voting rights violations. You will also hear from legal and policy experts from the ACLU of Maryland, talking together with community leaders leading this work. 
Our first episode, “RISE Up,” features a powerful discussion about how Black and Brown immigrants are gaining power in Frederick and working to end the county’s 287(g) program deputizing local police as federal ICE agents. Listen here.
“In the first episode, you will hear us talk about something with a boring name — 287(g) — that has a dangerous impact by partnering local police with ICE to dismantle trust in communities,” said Amber Taylor, who continued: “287(g) affects three counties in Maryland, but it is a nationwide program and a nationwide problem. The story of how Frederick residents are rising up to create the positive community they want to see could be replicated in other parts of the country. And their lessons learned could help others make a bigger impact in communities across the country.”
SUBSCRIBE: “Thinking Freely” is available Listen Notes, Google Play, Apple Podcast, Spotify, SoundCloud, RadioPublic, and Stitcher.
“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.”