FOIA Filed As Part of Coordinated Campaign With 49 ACLU Affiliates
WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin filed a FOIA request today with its local U.S. Customs and Border Protection office 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 today is part of a coordinated effort from 49 ACLU affiliates, which filed 18 FOIAs with CBP field offices and its headquarters spanning 55 international airports across the country.
“We have received quite a few messages from immigrants in the U.S. and those with family members with visas to legally immigrate from overseas,” noted ACLU of Wisconsin Senior Staff Attorney, Karyn Rotker. “The community is fearful and confused by the sudden, extreme actions the government is taking.”
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.
“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.