The FOIA was filed as part of a coordinated campaign with 50 ACLU affiliates.
ACLU of Utah Files FOIA on Execution of Trump’s Immigration and Refugee Ban
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2017
SALT LAKE CITY, UT — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Utah filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request today with its local Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office to expose how Trump administration officials are interpreting and executing the president’s unconstitutional immigration and refugee ban, including any action in violation of federal courts’ orders to stay 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.
“Utah has always welcomed newcomers and been a refuge for people fleeing persecution, and we don’t want that to change,” said Brittney Nystrom, Executive Director of the ACLU of Utah. “The public needs to know how this federal agency is acting in our state to enforce an executive order that we believe attacks the very core of Utah’s identity as uniquely welcoming state.”
National media reports indicate that CBP officials detained and deported individuals, even after federal courts ordered immigration officials to stop enforcing the Trump executive order in response to emergency court papers filed by the ACLU and other organizations. The ACLU of Utah continues to hear from individuals living in or traveling through Utah, who are worried about their own ability to travel, and are worried about how family members and loved ones will be treated upon arrival.
“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, 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 unconstitutional action. The ACLU of Utah coordinated with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU of Hawaii for this FOIA filing.