FOIA Filed As Part of Coordinated Campaign with 50 ACLU Affiliates
February 2, 2017 — The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Oregon (ACLU of Oregon) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request today with its local U.S. Customs and Border Protection office (CBP) to reveal how Trump administration officials are interpreting and executing the president’s immigration ban, and whether they are complying with orders from federal courts partially staying the ban’s implementation. The filing today is part of a coordinated effort from 50 ACLU affiliates, which filed FOIA requests with 18 CBP field offices and its headquarters spanning 55 international airports across the country.
“The exclusion of Muslims and refugees is shameful and runs counter to core American values,” said Kelly Simon, staff attorney at the ACLU of Oregon. “Yesterday, we sued the Trump administration on behalf of immigrants and refugees in Oregon. Today, we teamed up with ACLU affiliates across the country in an effort to force out information about how these orders are being carried out.”
Media reports indicate that CBP officials detained and deported individuals, even after federal courts ordered officials to stop enforcing the executive order following court challenges 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 block 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 action.
The ACLU of Oregon joined ACLU affiliates in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, and Alaska to file a FOIA request with the US Customs and Border Protection office which covers points of entry in those states.
The ACLU of Oregon is encouraging people who will arrive at Portland International Airport (PDX) and who are from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan or Yemen, or any refugee, and those who have already been detained at PDX by Customs, to call their hotline at (971) 412-2258 or to send an email to email@example.com.
The affiliate and national ACLU FOIA requests can be read in full, below.
Read the ACLU national release is available here.