ACLU sues for Phoenix Sky Harbor documents on Trump’s travel ban
PHOENIX — The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Wednesday to gain access to any documents related to the implementation of President Donald Trump’s travel ban at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.
In a press release announcing the suit, the ACLU said it filed 12 Freedom of Information Act suits across the country to obtain the documents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The agency said it does not believe anyone was detained at Sky Harbor because of the ban, but it cannot be certain until it obtains documentation.
“It’s impossible for us to know what happened in the secure areas of the airport without transparency from the federal government,” ACLU of Arizona Legal Director Kathy Brody said in the release.
“Restricting a person’s ability to travel is a severe action for the government to take and we all should know when and how it is being done.”
Both of Trump’s attempts at instituting a travel ban — which critics such as the ACLU have labeled as Muslim bans because they prohibit travel from certain Muslim-majority nations — have been blocked by federal courts. The ACLU lawsuit seeks information pertaining to the first ban that went into effect in January, stranding some travelers at airports.
“The public has a right to know how federal immigration officials have handled the implementation of the Muslim bans, especially after multiple federal courts have blocked various aspects of these executive orders,” Mitra Ebadolahi, a border litigation project staff attorney with the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, said in the release.
Protests against the January ban were held at numerous airports, including Sky Harbor.
A federal judge is scheduled to hear arguments on the bans next month. Arizona has joined 12 other states in expressing support for Trump’s second ban.