ACLU-NJ Files FOIA on Trump Immigration Ban

February 2, 2017

FOIA Filed Jointly with NYCLU As Part of Coordinated National Effort With 49 ACLU Affiliates

NEWARK, NJ — The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey filed a FOIA request (PDF) 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 the agency’s headquarters, spanning 55 international airports across the country.

“Especially with so much uncertainty surrounding the implementation of Trump’s discriminatory ban, Customs and Border Protection as a federal agency has a responsibility to share these details with the public,” said ACLU-NJ Senior Staff Attorney Alexander Shalom. “The ACLU has heard from families and attorneys in various states that Customs and Border Protection officers are not consistently complying with the court orders halting the ban’s unconstitutional deportations. People’s lives hang in the balance. If refugees and immigrants are being unlawfully deported, Customs and Border Protection must be held to account.”

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. The ACLU-NJ filed its request jointly with the New York Civil Liberties Union, as the New York regional division of CBP covers both New York and New Jersey.

“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.

The following ACLU affiliates participated in this coordinated FOIA filing:

ACLU of Alabama | ACLU of Alaska | ACLU of Arizona | ACLU of Arkansas | ACLU of Northern California | ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties | ACLU of Southern California | ACLU of Colorado | ACLU of Connecticut | ACLU of the District of Columbia | ACLU of Delaware | ACLU of Florida | ACLU of Georgia | ACLU of Hawaii | ACLU of Idaho | ACLU of Illinois | ACLU of Indiana | ACLU of Iowa | ACLU of Kansas | ACLU of Kentucky | ACLU of Louisiana | ACLU of Maine | ACLU of Maryland | ACLU of Massachusetts | ACLU of Michigan | ACLU of Minnesota | ACLU of Mississippi | ACLU of Missouri | ACLU of Montana | ACLU of Nebraska | ACLU of Nevada | ACLU of New Hampshire | ACLU of New Jersey | ACLU of New Mexico New York Civil Liberties Union | ACLU of North Carolina | ACLU of North Dakota | ACLU of Ohio | ACLU of Oregon | ACLU of Pennsylvania | ACLU of Rhode Island | ACLU of South Carolina | ACLU of Tennessee | ACLU of Texas | ACLU of Utah | ACLU of Vermont | ACLU of Virginia | ACLU of Washington | ACLU of West Virginia | ACLU of Wisconsin

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