On October 21, 2014, the American Immigration Council, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and American Civil Liberties Union filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (� ...
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On October 21, 2014, the American Immigration Council, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and American Civil Liberties Union filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, the National Immigration Law Center, the American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Project/NLG and the ACLU Foundation Immigrants’ Rights Project sought injunctive and declaratory relief as well as reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants failed to disclose documents regarding information and practices in an Artesia, New Mexico immigration detention center. Specifically, the defendants failed to disclose information concerning the expedited removal of families Artesia after 2014.
There had been growing concern about the policies, procedures and practices related to the implementation of the expedited removal process in Artesia, sparking major concern from the media and the public. The facility in Artesia held women and minor children who had fled Central America, seeking refuge in the United States. Many of these migrants fled persecution and extreme danger in their home countries, and sought asylum in the U.S. However, some of these families have since been deported back to the countries from which they had fled, raising concern about the removal process. The plaintiffs sought to examine the extent to which these women and children had valid claims of asylum and if these families were receiving the process required by law. In order to understand this process, the plaintiffs submitted FOIA requests to each of the defendants for any agency records that the defendants prepared, received, transmitted, collected or maintained that concerned the policies, procedures and guidelines with respect to the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as a request for expedited processing. However, none of the defendants had made any determination as to whether they would comply with the plaintiffs’ request for the documents. The defendants also denied the plaintiffs request for expedited processing, even though the plaintiffs claimed that these documents were necessary to educate the public about time critical government activities.
On February 13, 2015 Judge Lorna G. Schofield ordered that each of the defendants must review 500 pages per month (750 for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and produce any responsive documents on the 25th day of each month until they produced all responsive documents that it had gathered.
The case is currently ongoing.Matt Ramirez - 05/31/2016