The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia joined the ACLU of North Carolina and two other affiliates in a coordinated Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request today with the local U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office in Atlanta to expose how Trump administration officials are interpreting and executing the president’s unconstitutional immigration ban. The filing today is part of a coordinated effort from four ACLU affiliates in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and West Virginia. Nationwide, fifty ACLU affiliates have filed eighteen FOIAs with CBP field offices and its headquarters spanning fifty-five international airports across the country.
“The public deserves to know how this unconstitutional immigration ban is being implemented and whether the Trump administration is complying with the nationwide stay granted in federal court,” said Andrea Young, Executive Director of the ACLU of Georgia. “The ACLU of Georgia is proud to join with 49 other affiliates across the country to demand these documents and ensure the Trump administration is held accountable for its actions.”
Media reports indicate that CBP officials detained and deported individuals, even after federal courts ordered officials to stop enforcing the Trump executive order through a petition from the ACLU and other organizations. In Georgia, a CNN producer was detained at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, despite being a permanent legal resident and having the proper paperwork.
“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, fifty 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 unlawful action. In North Carolina, thirty- seven refugees scheduled to resettle in Charlotte this month were banned from entering the country.
The following ACLU affiliates participated in this coordinated FOIA filing: • ACLU of Georgia • ACLU of North Carolina