Media Contact

Meghan Smith, 860-471-8468 or 860-992-7645,

February 2, 2017

HARTFORD – The American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut joined ACLU affiliates from across New England to file a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Boston office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), to uncover 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 is part of a coordinated effort from ACLU affiliates nationwide, which filed requests with CBP field offices and its headquarters spanning 55 international airports across the country.

Media reports indicate that CBP officials detained and deported individuals, even after federal courts ordered officials to stop enforcing the executive order following court challenges from the ACLU, Yale Law School’s Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, and other organizations.

“Connecticut has welcomed refugee families who were fleeing war in Syria. Refugees and Muslims are our neighbors, friends, and children’s friends. They are already making our state stronger. The Constitution bars the government from targeting people based on religion,” said Dan Barrett, legal director of the ACLU of Connecticut.

“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 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 New England FOIA request can be found here:

The ACLU national FOIA request can be found here: