ACLU files Freedom of Information Act request on Trump immigration ban

aclu virginiaACLU affiliates in Virginia, Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania on Thursday filed a coordinated Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with their local U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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.

“We must uncover the manner and extent to which these unconstitutional actions were taken, how many people have been affected, and what relief might be applied to individuals and families who have every legal right to be in this country,” said ACLU Executive Director Claire Guthrie Gastañaga.

Media reports indicate that CBP officials detained and deported individuals, even after federal courts ordered them CRESto stop enforcing the Trump executive order through a petition from the ACLU and other organizations. The ACLU of Virginia 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.

“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:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Northern California
Ohio
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
San Diego, California
South Carolina
Southern California
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
Washington, D.C.
West Virginia
Wisconsin

 
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