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Michigan ACLU suing Customs and Border Protection for immigration ban documents

Apr 13, 2017

The American Civil Liberties Union in Michigan is suing U.S. Customs and Border Protection, alleging the agency failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act request. 

The ACLU branch is seeking documentation outlining the "on-the-ground" implementation of President Trump's first executive order that temporarily banned immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries.  The group says the government has failed to substantively respond to the request. 

Miriam Aukerman is a senior staff attorney for ACLU involved in the lawsuit. She hopes to unveil as much information as possible concerning Michigan border patrol activity under the order. "We wanted to find out what happened at Detroit Metro,  what happened at the Ambassador Bridge, what happened at Detroit Windsor tunnel, what were officers told," she says.  "We think the citizens of Michigan have a right to know how that Muslim ban has been implemented."

Every ACLU affiliate nationwide filed a FOIA request about the ban in their locality once the original executive order was put into effect. The Michigan chapter, however, filed one of thirteen lawsuits after CBP failed to provide the documentation from the initial requests.

Aukerman believes the documentation is particularly important for Michigan because of the high concentration of residents with ties to the countries affected.   She says among all metropolitan areas, Detroit has the highest number of individuals per capita from the countries banned in Trump's original order.