To ensure that local police departments that are party to anti-immigrant 287(g) agreements with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can be held accountable to the communities they serve, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE. The lawsuit seeks full information about individuals who were held for further immigration screening, as well as policies and instructions about how Harford County police were supposed identify who they would target for further screening.
“While the nation has been rightfully outraged about the separation of children from their parents by ICE, we must be aware of how zero tolerance immigration policies have been increasing in Maryland and wrongfully tearing families apart for years,” said Nick Steiner, Equal Justice Works Immigrants’ Rights Fellow at the ACLU of Maryland. “We need to know the truth. It’s a big government accountability problem if 287(g) agreements between local police agencies and ICE mean that Maryland communities are kept in the dark about whether their police officers are engaged in racial profiling or using other illegal tactics.”