ACLU of Utah sues Trump administration for travel ban documents

Posted at 11:52 AM, Apr 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-18 14:55:58-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah has filed a lawsuit demanding documents on how President Donald Trump's controversial travel ban was implemented.

ACLU of Utah Legal Director John Mejia told FOX 13 the lawsuit was filed after U.S. Customs & Border Protection ignored requests for documents under the Freedom of Information Act. It was filed in conjunction with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU of Hawaii.

The San Francisco office of CBP oversees Salt Lake City International Airport.

"We asked those agencies, 'How did you implement this? Show us the documents that you had internally, that told your agents how this order was going to work at these airports,'" Mejia said. "What we were met with was radio silence."

The lawsuit will force the federal government to respond and either come up with documents showing how customs agents implemented the president's controversial travel ban, or go to court and litigate it.

Shortly after taking office, President Trump signed the ban on travel to the U.S. from six majority-Muslim nations. The move triggered protests at airports nationwide.

Mejia said he was unaware of anyone being detained at Salt Lake City International Airport. But with the federal government refusing to hand over documents, the ACLU can't know.

"We don't know. We have no current information about whether people were detained here under that order," he said. "We'd like to find out."

A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol declined to comment on the lawsuit on Wednesday.

The president's ban has spawned similar litigation across the country. Presently, the order is halted by an order from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.