Listen to Episode 1 of a new podcast about people resisting deportation by Will Coley and the Immigrant Defense Project

#### Episode 1: Land of the Free, but Only for Some:

Eddy Arias remembers the night he was pulled over by the Houston Texas police. It was first time he had ever interacted with law enforcement since he’d moved to the U.S. from Mexico as a child. He still remembers every moment. When Eddy realized he’d been racially profiled, he stood up for his Constitutional rights. But what happened next drew him into a much larger debate about police enforcing immigration laws.

Houston is home to thousands of immigrant families. On paper, police don’t enforce immigration laws on the streets. There are policies against this. Yet several successive mayors have refused to call Houston a “sanctuary city” for immigrants. For many years, the Harris county jail in Houston has collaborated with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (or ICE). That means if someone is arrested, they can ultimately be transferred to ICE for deportation. This is called a “287g” agreement.

Eddy Arias learned firsthand about the way it works. And he decided to do something about it. Thanks in part to his activism as a member of United We Dream, Houston now has a new sheriff.

Indefensible is a podcast series brought to you by the Immigrant Defense Project. Over five episodes, producer [Will Coley]( will bring you stories from people who are standing up and holding out; fighting to be with their families. They say they’re here to stay.

Subscribe now on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, SoundCloud or wherever you get your podcasts. New episodes will be released every Thursday from May 25th through June 29nd. Indefensible is made possible by support from the Four Freedoms Fund.

Listen to the Trailer:

Stories of people resisting deportation

Over the past twenty years, more than 4.5 million people have been deported from the United States, almost eight times more than in the previous 20 years. Extremely harsh immigration laws took the hallmarks of the War on Crime — mandatory sentencing, hyper-policing, and mass imprisonment — and extended these punitive measures to target immigrants. Detention and deportation became mandatory for a wide range of past criminal offenses, and immigrants were stripped of many basic rights, including the right to a fair day in court. (Read more about the 1996 laws here.) The climate of fear fueled by the War on Terror has justified the massive diversion of federal funding to police, imprison and exile immigrants has created the world’s largest detention and deportation system.

President Donald Trump has heightened the threat to human rights and fairness including his plans to vastly expand immigration police force and further limit the due process rights of immigrants. The new administration has effectively named all immigrants as a threat worthy of deportation, while particularly demonizing those who are arrested or convicted of a wide range of criminal offenses.

Our podcast showcases the stories of people who are directly facing this reality. But they’re not sitting back. Instead many are standing up and speaking out.


Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) is a national non-profit organization based in NYC. We fight for the human rights of immigrants in the criminal legal and immigration systems. Founded in response to the draconian 1996 U.S. immigration laws, our work focuses on ending the current era of mass deportation and criminalization by transforming these two unjust systems at multiple points. We use impact litigation and advocacy to challenge unfair laws and policies, and media and communications to counter the pervasive demonization of immigrants. Through expert legal advice, training, and resources for immigrants, legal defenders, and grassroots organizations across the country, we support those on the frontlines fighting for justice for immigrants and all of us.

[Will Coley]( is an independent radio producer, social media strategist, trainer and videographer based in Queens, NY. His radio stories have been broadcast on NPR News, 99% Invisible, the BBC, KCRW’s Unfictional, and Georgia Public Broadcasting among others. Will also produces digital storytelling and designs online strategy for nonprofit organizations working for stronger communities. He has a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University and completed the certificate program at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford. In 2011, Will attended the first-ever Transom Radio Story Workshop, and in 2012 developed the Working Now project as a SoundCloud Community Fellow.

[Jasmin Mara Lopez]( is an award-winning journalist and radio producer based in New Orleans, Louisiana. Born in the U.S. with familial roots in México, her life was affected by issues experienced on both sides of the U.S.-México border. This instilled in her a strong passion for immigrant rights, youth empowerment, and social change.

In 2007, Jasmin founded Project Luz — a project that empowers youth to share stories from within their communities utilizing audio and photojournalism techniques. Through this work, she was inspired to become a journalist herself and decided to tell the stories that were important to her and her community.

Jasmin recently received recognition for her documentary, “Deadly Divide: Migrant Death on the Border.” She is a proud recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism Award, Pacific Media Workers Guild Freelance Journalism Award, Association of Independents in Radio New Voices Scholarship, and the 2017 Third Coast Radio Residency at Ragdale.

Additionally, a great thanks to our production team — Bryan Parras (audio producer), Kalalea (series editor), Anne Pope (audio engineer), Andrew Ingkavet (composer) — without whom none of this work would have been possible.