The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) officially filed 13 separate lawsuits today (April 12) after the federal government did not respond to its 18 Freedom of Information Act requests for information on the administration’s “Muslim ban” in February.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) April 12, 2017
The lawsuits demand records from local U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Department of Homeland Security offices to learn how specific municipalities (including Baltimore, Detroit and Seattle) implemented the travel ban on-the-ground at airports and other ports of entry.
“CBP has a long history of ignoring its obligations under the federal Freedom of Information Act, a law that was enacted to ensure that Americans have timely access to information of pressing public concern,” said Mitra Ebadolahi, a staff attorney with the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, in the press release. “The public has a right to know how federal immigration officials have handled the implementation of the Muslim bans, especially after multiple federal courts have blocked various aspects of these executive orders.”
President Donald Trump issued the controversial travel ban via executive order on January 27. After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled against it, the Trump administration released a second version on March 6. Federal judges also stopped implentation of that one.