FOIAs Filed As Part of Coordinated Campaign With 50 ACLU Affiliates


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WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida filed a FOIA request 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 50 ACLU affiliates, which filed 18 FOIAs with CBP field offices and its headquarters spanning 55 international airports across the country.

“President Trump rashly rejected the previous, considered approval of legal residency and travel visas of countless travelers,” stated ACLU of Florida staff attorney Benjamin Stevenson, who filed the FOIA requests with Florida CBP offices.  “Now, they are left guessing whether they can return to America and their friends and family without facing arrest.  As the Trump administration scrambles to think through how Customs and Border Protection should enforce this Muslim ban, we deserve to know how our government is treating us and interpreting our courts’ orders.”

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, fifty 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 national FOIA filings can be found here:

The FOIA request for CBP’s Miami office can be found here: 

The FOIA request for CBP’s Tampa office can be found here: