FOIA Filed As Part of Coordinated Campaign With 50 ACLU Affiliates

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

“American Muslims, immigrants and U.S.-born alike, are part of the fabric of this nation and part of what makes America great,” said Caitlin Borgmann, Executive Director of the ACLU of Montana, “We are filing this Freedom of Information Act request coordinated with 49 other affiliates to ensure that Montanans can learn whether the rule of law is being upheld in our state and nationwide.”

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, ACLU Montana 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 Montana joined ACLU affiliates in Washington and North Dakota to file a FOIA request with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office which covers points of entry in those states.

The FOIA requests can be found here: