FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PHOENIX — The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed a Freedom of Information Act request today with a local U.S. Customs and Border Protection office to expose how Trump administration officials are interpreting and executing the president’s Muslim ban, acting in violation of federal courts that ordered a stay on the ban’s implementation. The filing today is part of a coordinated effort from 50 ACLU affiliates, which filed 18 FOIAs with CBP field offices and its headquarters, in an effort to obtain public information about government actions at over 55 international airports across the country.
“Without transparency from the federal government, it’s nearly impossible to know what has happened in the secure areas of Arizona’s international airports since President Trump’s discriminatory order was issued, creating chaos for many travelers across the globe,” said ACLU of Arizona Legal Director Kathy Brody. “We cannot be sure if anyone was detained or deported in violation of court orders unless the federal government is straightforward about its activities.”
Media reports indicate that CBP officials detained and deported individuals, even after federal courts ordered officials to stop enforcing the executive order following a court challenge from the ACLU and other organizations.
“It is imperative that the public learn if federal immigration officials are blatantly defying nationwide federal court orders that block President Trump’s unconstitutional Muslim 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, 50 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 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, South Carolina, Southern California, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The Arizona local CBP FOIA request is here: http://bit.ly/2jI67Hi
The ACLU national FOIA request can be found here: https://www.aclu.org/cbp-foia-filing-trump-immigration-ban
This statement is online here: https://www.acluaz.org/en/press-releases/aclu-arizona-files-demands-documents-implementation-trumps-muslim-ban
The ACLU national release is available here: https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-files-demands-documents-implementation-trumps-immigration-ban