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ACLU v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (2017)

19 April 2017 Published in Current Cases

The ACLU of Utah, along with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU of Hawai’i, has filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) demanding government documents related to the chaotic on-the-ground implementation of President Trump’s executive orders related to foreign travel from multiple majority-Muslim nations.

The lawsuit, filed on April 10, 2017, is one of 13 similar FOIA lawsuits filed by ACLU affiliates as part of a coordinated nationwide campaign to obtain information about how the now-stayed executive orders were implemented.  The lawsuit seeks records from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB)’s San Francisco field office, which has jurisdiction over Honolulu and Kona International Airports in Hawai’i, San Francisco International Airport in Northern California, and Salt Lake International Airport in Utah. CBP is an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. Each of the 13 lawsuits filed last week 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. Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is co-counsel in the lawsuit.

The government initially responded to our lawsuit concerning the violation of the Freedom of Information Act by asking that it be consolidated with other ACLU FOIA lawsuits that, like ours, asked for differing, local records. On August 1, 2017 the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order denying the request.

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