Today we joined several other affiliates in filing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit demanding government documents from regional Customs and Border Protection offices.

ACLU of Alaska Files Lawsuit Demanding Documents on Implementation of Trump Muslim Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 11, 2017
CONTACT: Casey Reynolds, ACLU of Alaska, (907) 276-2258, Creynolds@acluak.org
 
Anchorage, Alaska – ACLU affiliates in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, and Wyoming joined together in filing a 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.
 
“Alaskans expect and deserve transparency from their government,” said ACLU of Alaska Executive Director Joshua A. Decker. “President Trump’s unconstitutional and un-American Muslim bans have caused chaos for government workers, hardship for travelers, and coast-to-coast protests from citizens. Now his administration has an obligation to disclose information to the public about the guidance and training that CBP 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.
 
Each lawsuit 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.
 
The coordinated lawsuits seek information from the following local CBP offices:
 
Atlanta
Baltimore
Boston
Chicago
Detroit
Houston
Los Ángeles
Miami
Portland
San Diego
San Francisco
Seattle
Tampa
Tucson
 
All of the affiliate FOIA lawsuits will be available here: https://www.aclu.org/other/aclu-cbp-foia-lawsuits-regarding-muslim-ban-i...
 
 
The release on the original FOIA requests is here: https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-files-demands-documents-implementation-tr...
 
More background on CBP’s FOIA practices is here: https://www.aclu.org/letter/aclu-letter-cbp-re-foia-practices-july-2016
 
The American Civil Liberties Union is our nation’s guardian of liberty. For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been at the forefront of virtually every major battle for civil liberties and equal justice in this country. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU works in the courts, legislatures, and communities to preserve and expand the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States. The ACLU of Alaska, founded in 1971, is one of the 53 state ACLU affiliates that strive to make the Bill of Rights real for everyone and to uphold the promise of the Constitution—because freedom can’t protect itself.
 
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