DENVER — ACLU affiliates in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming and Alaska filed a joint Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit today demanding government documents from their regional U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office about the on-the-ground implementation of President Trump’s Muslim bans.
Today’s action is part of a total of 13 FOIA lawsuits filed by ACLU affiliates across the country. Each suit seeks unique and local information regarding how CBP implemented the executive orders at specific airports and ports of entry in the midst of rapidly developing and sometimes conflicting government guidance.
“President Trump’s unconstitutional and un-American Muslim bans created chaos, confusion, and hardship across the country,” said ACLU of Colorado Legal Director Mark Silverstein. “As a public agency, CBP has an obligation to respond to open records requests and to disclose information to the public about the guidance and training that its agents receive.”
The ACLU first sought this information through FOIA requests submitted to CBP on February 2. Since the government has failed to substantively respond, the ACLU is now suing.
“CBP has a long history of ignoring its obligations under the federal Freedom of Information Act — a law that was enacted to ensure that Americans have timely access to information of pressing public concern. The public has a right to know how federal immigration officials have handled the implementation of the Muslim bans, especially after multiple federal courts have blocked various aspects of these executive orders,” said Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Project Staff Attorney with the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties.
Read the complaint: http://static.aclu-co.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/FOIAComplaint.pdf
The release on the original FOIA requests is here:
More background on CBP’s FOIA practices is here: