FOIA Filed As Part of Coordinated Campaign With 50 ACLU Affiliates

February 2, 2017

ACLU-TN Communications, 615-320-7142

WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee 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 Muslim 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 55 international airports across the country.

"Trump's sweeping, unconstitutional executive order undermines who we are – a nation that welcomes immigrants and refugees, and aspires to treat people equally regardless of religion, color, background and birthplace," said Hedy Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee executive director. "We are filing this FOIA request to ensure that this administration and its agencies are operating transparently and being held accountable to the American people and the Constitution."

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 Muslim 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 ACLU of Tennessee was joined in filing this coordinated FOIA request to the New Orleans CBP office by the ACLU affiliates in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

The FOIA request ACLU-TN filed today can be found here:

The ACLU national FOIA request can be found here:

The ACLU national release is available here: