Regional ACLU Affiliates File FOIA on Trump's Immigration Ban
February 3, 2017
The regional FOIA filings can be found here.
The national FOIA filings can be found here:
Meredith Curtis Goode, firstname.lastname@example.org, 443-310-9946
WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) affiliates of Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia are part of a coordinated Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed yesterday with their local U.S. Customs and Border Protection offices to expose how Trump administration officials are interpreting and executing the president's unconstitutional immigration ban, acting in violation of federal courts that ordered a stay on the ban's implementation. The filing is part of a coordinated effort from 50 ACLU affiliates, which filed 18 FOIAs with CBP field offices and its headquarters spanning 55 international airports across the country.
"This Executive Order has generated fear and confusion here in Maryland, as well as massive public outcry in support of Muslims, refugees and other immigrants," said Susan Goering, Executive Director of the ACLU of Maryland. "It is vital for the federal government to provide us with immediate assurances that officials are adhering to the numerous federal court rulings restraining the ban as unconstitutional, as well as with detailed information about exactly how remaining portions of the Order are being implemented in Maryland."
Media reports indicate that CBP officials detained and deported individuals, even after federal courts ordered officials to stop enforcing the Trump executive order through a petition from the ACLU and other organizations. The ACLU of Maryland has received many calls from people worried about family members now blocked from visiting the U.S., worried about pending visa applications and status petitions might be affected, and concerned about people being intimidated into giving up their rights in order to be admitted to the U.S. Significantly, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh has filed a similar FOIA request on behalf of the state.
"It is imperative that the public learn if federal immigration officials are blatantly defying nationwide federal court orders that discontinue President Trump's unconstitutional immigration ban," said Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Project Staff Attorney with the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties. "To shed light on this critical issue of pressing public concern, 49 ACLU affiliates are using the Freedom of Information Act to expose Customs and Border Protection's abuse of power."
The Trump administration has yet to inform the public of how many refugees, visa holders, and legal permanent residents have been affected by this unlawful action.
The following ACLU affiliates participated in this coordinated FOIA filing:
San Diego, California