NEW ORLEANS — The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana filed a Freedom of Information Act 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 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 over 55 international airports across the country.
“The people of Louisiana have the right to know what our immigration authorities are doing in our name,” said Marjorie R. Esman, ACLU of Louisiana. “We expect government officials to obey the law and honor the Constitutional system of balance of powers. The courts have spoken and officials must obey court orders.”
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, 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 action.
The following ACLU affiliates participated in this region’s coordinated FOIA filing: Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee.