CLEVELAND—The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request today with its local U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 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.
“The hurried implementation of President Trump’s executive order appeared confused, disorganized and uncaring,” said Freda Levenson, Legal Director of the ACLU of Ohio. “The American people deserve to know how the federal government prepared to roll out this order, how they responded to court orders instructing them to stop deportations, and how many people were impacted by this chaos.”
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 Ohio joined ACLU affiliates in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin to foil a FOIA request with the US Customs and Border Protection office which covers points of entry in those states.