University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Council on American-Islamic Relations - Connecticut v. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services NS-CT-0001
Docket / Court 3:17-cv-01061-AVC ( D. Conn. )
State/Territory Connecticut
Case Type(s) National Security
Special Collection Trump Administration FOIA cases
Attorney Organization Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization (Yale)
National Immigration Law Center
Case Summary
This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) complaint, filed June 27, 2017, seeks to enhance knowledge about discriminatory immigration policy regarding Muslims, Latinos, and other members of groups disfavored by the Department of State (DOS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The complaint ... read more >
This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) complaint, filed June 27, 2017, seeks to enhance knowledge about discriminatory immigration policy regarding Muslims, Latinos, and other members of groups disfavored by the Department of State (DOS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

The plaintiffs are two non-profit organizations: Council on American-Islamic Relations - Connecticut (CAIR-CT) and Make the Road New York (MRNY). In the complaint, they cited various examples of anti-immigrant and anti-refugee rhetoric from President Trump, as well as the Trump administration's Executive Orders banning entry into the United States of individuals from certain majority-Muslim countries. The plaintiffs argued that these incidents directly impacted their work of enhancing public understanding of Islam and empowering immigrant and working-class communities.

The plaintiffs submitted three FOIA requests in furtherance of their work to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and DOS. According to the complaint, the FOIA requests sought greater understanding of the administration's immigration enforcement policies out of a concern that the defendants have targeted individuals on the basis of actual or perceived religion, ethnicity, race, or national origin in enforcing their immigration policies. Specifically, the plaintiffs sought "disclosure of agency policies, communications, and statistics related to visa processing and visa issuances for individuals applying abroad; to adjudication of entry document applications; and to screening and searching of individuals arriving at U.S. ports of entry." After the defendants did not produce any responsive records, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, and "to compel the disclosure and release of urgently needed records."

The case was assigned to Judge Alfred V. Covello.

The parties entered into settlement negotiations, which remain active.

On Jan. 26, 2018, the parties filed a status report indicating the defendants had completed their search for potentially responsive documents. The government was to produce the first set of documents on or before Feb. 23, 2018, with further productions made on a rolling basis every six weeks through June 2018. The parties agreed to work together on a list of search terms for the government to use. Status reports filed March through July indicated the production was progressing and that the parties would confer about any anticipated changes to the timeline.

The case is ongoing.

Virginia Weeks - 09/15/2017
Virginia Weeks - 07/25/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
Religion discrimination
General
Racial profiling
Records Disclosure
Religious programs / policies
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Immigration/Border
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Asylum - criteria
Asylum - procedure
Border police
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Refugees
Temporary protected status
Temporary visitors
Visas - criteria
Visas - procedures
National Origin/Ethnicity
Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description nonprofit organizations the Council on American-Islamic Relations –Connecticut and Make the Road New York
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization (Yale)
National Immigration Law Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  WIRAC Sues Administration for Withholding Records in “Backdoor Muslim Ban”
https://law.yale.edu/
Date: Jun. 27, 2017
By: Yale Law School
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
3:17-cv-1061 (D. Conn.)
NS-CT-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/24/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
NS-CT-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/27/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Covello, Alfred V. (D. Conn.)
NS-CT-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ahmad, Muneer I. (Connecticut)
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Cox, Justin Bryan (Georgia)
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Espiritu, Nicholas David (California)
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Evarts, Linda (New York)
NS-CT-0001-9000
Heller, Rebecca (New York)
NS-CT-0001-0001
Hirose, Mariko (New York)
NS-CT-0001-9000
Keaney, Melissa S. (California)
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Loyo, Ruben (Connecticut)
NS-CT-0001-0001
Poellot, Stephen (New York)
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Stehlik, Joshua T. (California)
NS-CT-0001-9000
Sung, Esther (California)
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Tumlin, Karen C. (California)
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Wishnie, Michael J. (Connecticut)
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Drezner, Michael Leon (District of Columbia)
NS-CT-0001-9000

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