LINCOLN, Neb. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit today demanding government documents about the on-the-ground implementation of President Trump’s Muslim bans.
Today’s action is part of a total of 13 FOIA lawsuits filed by ACLU affiliates across the country. The ACLU of Nebraska lawsuit is seeking records from U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Chicago Field Office. In particular, the lawsuit seeks records related to CBP’s implementation of President Trump’s Muslim bans at local airports.
The ACLU first sought this information through FOIA requests submitted to CBP on February 2. Since the government has failed to substantively respond, the ACLU is now suing.
“The ACLU has been proud to work in solidarity to uphold Nebraska’s strong tradition of welcoming new neighbors,” said ACLU of Nebraska Executive Director Danielle Conrad. “Just as welcoming refugees has been a strong Nebraska tradition, so has transparency in government. Nebraskans have a right to know what federal government actions have been taking place in the Cornhusker state, particularly if those actions have violated court orders."
“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. 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,” said Mitra Ebadolahi, Border Litigation Project Staff Attorney with the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties.
Each lawsuit 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.
The coordinated lawsuits seek information from the following local CBP offices:
All of the affiliate FOIA lawsuits will be available here:
The ACLU national release is here:
The release on the original FOIA requests is here:
More background on CBP’s FOIA practices is here: