CONCORD — The American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire filed a Freedom of Information Act request today with its local U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Boston to learn how Trump administration officials are interpreting and executing the president’s immigration ban, and whether they are 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 its headquarters spanning 55 international airports across the country.
“The President’s Executive Order is a major step toward carrying out his campaign threat to ban the admission of Muslims into the United States,” states Devon Chaffee, the ACLU-NH’s Executive Director. “This Order has already taken a terrible human toll and it should not be allowed to continue. It separates American families and deprives our country of the contributions that these newcomers, and their children and grandchildren, will make as Americans.”
Media reports indicate that CBP officials detained and deported individuals, even after federal courts ordered officials to stop enforcing the executive order following a court challenge 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, 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 action.
The following ACLU affiliates participated in this coordinated FOIA filing:
The FOIA request was joined by the ACLUs of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. The request can be found here.