WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan 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 50 ACLU affiliates, which filed 18 FOIAs with CBP field offices and its headquarters spanning 55 international airports across the country.
"We're filing these FOIAs because it's imperative that government be both transparent and accountable to the American people," said Kary Moss, Executive Director of the ACLU of Michigan. "Families have been split up and entire communities have been rocked because the President, with a stroke of his pen, issued an order that is in blatant violation of the Constitution. The American people have a right to know the full consequences of this action."
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, 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 unlawful action.
The ACLU of Michigan's FOIA request can be found here.
The ACLU national release is available here.