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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 Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
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 November indicated the production was progressing and that the parties would confer about any anticipated changes to the timeline.

The parties filed a joint motion to transfer the case to a Magistrate Judge on August 5, 2019. The court granted this motion; the case was transferred to Magistrate Judge Robert M. Spector on August 15, 2019.

The defendants filed a motion to stay and extend the production schedule on April 2, 2020. Magistrate Judge Spector granted this motion on the following day; under the new order, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), a DHS agency, would be required to produce 1,500 pages per six-week reporting period.

About six weeks later, the defendants filed a consent motion to modify the production schedule on May 18, 2020. The motion noted that CBP had largely complied with the production schedule, and that the remaining documents would require cooperation across different agencies to produce and analyze. Magistrate Judge Spector granted the motion, and removed production page limits for CBP for the next reporting period, though the agency needed to keep the parties abreast on updates for the remaining material.

The next status report is due on June 19, 2020. The case is ongoing.

Virginia Weeks - 09/15/2017
Virginia Weeks - 11/28/2018
Ellen Aldin - 06/10/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Records Disclosure
Religious programs / policies
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 Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
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
Filed 06/27/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  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: 05/28/2020
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]
Defendants' Consent Motion to Modify Production Order [ECF# 101 (& 101-1)]
NS-CT-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/21/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Spector, Robert M Court not on record show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ahmad, Muneer I. (Connecticut) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Bates, Adam Taylor (New York) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-9000
Cox, Justin Bryan (Georgia) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Espiritu, Nicholas David (California) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Evarts, Linda (New York) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-9000
Heller, Rebecca (New York) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-0001
Hirose, Mariko (New York) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-9000
Keaney, Melissa S. (California) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Loyo, Ruben (Connecticut) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-0001
Parikh, Reena (Connecticut) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-9000
Poellot, Stephen (New York) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Stehlik, Joshua T. (California) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-9000
Sung, Esther (California) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Tumlin, Karen C. (California) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Wishnie, Michael J. (Connecticut) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-0001 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Drezner, Michael Leon (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-0002 | NS-CT-0001-9000
Hunt, Joseph H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-0002
Shapiro, Elizabeth J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
NS-CT-0001-0002

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