Maryland ACLU joins lawsuit on travel ban implementation

The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland joined a nationwide lawsuit on Wednesday in an effort to learn more about the implementation of President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

Forty-one ACLU affiliates filed the suit, alleging U.S. Customs and Border Protection had not adequately responded to a request for documents filed this year under the Freedom of Information Act.

Trump signed the executive order imposing a ban on seven predominately Muslim nations on Jan. 27, drawing protests at airports as well as legal challenges. The White House issued a revised order in March, which has also been temporary blocked in court.

The ACLU, in this most recent lawsuit, is seeking information about the order’s local implementation, which by most accounts was chaotic. Customs officials did not interpret the order uniformly, and the administration quickly sought to clarify portions of the ban.

“It is unacceptable for the Trump administration to ignore the public's right to know how immigration agents handled the implementation” of the ban, Susan Goering, executive director of the ACLU of Maryland, said in a statement. "Marylanders showed up in the thousands…to protest the first executive order and they continue to be deeply concerned about federal anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim policies and how they affect people here in our state and across the country."

The original request for information, filed by dozens of ACLU affiliates on Feb. 2, sought records dealing with the implementation of the ban such as guidance provided to local agents as well as the number of individuals who were detained or deported during the first hours it was in effect.

A spokesperson at Customs and Border Protection said the agency would not comment on pending litigation.

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