Press Release

Press Release Ten States Challenge U.S. Department of Homeland Security for Failing to Disclose Immigration Records

For immediate release:
10/17/2017
  • Office of Attorney General Maura Healey

Media Contact for Ten States Challenge U.S. Department of Homeland Security for Failing to Disclose Immigration Records

Emily Snyder

Boston — A coalition of 10 attorneys general today filed suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for its failure to respond to a request for information relating to the detention and deportation of immigrants, Attorney General Maura Healey announced today.

In June, AG Healey led a coalition of attorneys general in issuing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), seeking details regarding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), arrests and/or detentions of individuals at sensitive locations, and ICE or CBP detainer requests and databases.

The complaint, filed today in U.S. District Court for Massachusetts and joined by nine other attorneys general, alleges that the states are requesting records to which they have a legal right and that the agencies have not responded to the requests within the statutorily prescribed time limit.

“The Trump Administration has chosen to operate in the dark when it comes to enforcement of immigration policies,” AG Healey said. “As the chief law enforcement officers in our states, we need to know how these policies are being enforced to keep people safe and serve our residents.”

In the initial request, the attorneys general reference local and national media reports of the deportation of individuals approved for DACA, individuals meeting with federal immigration officials to discuss their status, and even U.S. citizens.

The information being sought from federal agencies include the detention and deportation of individuals approved for DACA and immigration enforcement at sensitive locations – which include hospitals and school grounds. Some of the specific information the attorneys general have requested include information about the detention or deportation of any individual previously granted approval or extension of DACA, data about detainers requests issued by ICE or CBP, memos related to ICE or CBP-designated sensitive locations, and information about arrests and/or detentions within 100 feet of a courthouse.

Earlier this month, AG Healey issued an advisory to public and private universities in colleges in Massachusetts on issues that may affect immigrant students. This follows guidance that the AG issued to to health care providers and local public school districts following inquiries from health care providers and public school officials about the impact of federal immigration policies and executive orders on patients and students.

The AG’s Office also issued an advisory reminding local public school districts of their obligation under state and federal law to provide all students with equal access to primary and secondary education, irrespective of citizenship or immigration status.

Led by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, the other members of the coalition seeking this information include the attorneys general of California, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Washington and the District of Columbia.

This case is being handled for Massachusetts by Assistant Attorney General Kevin Manganaro of AG Healey’s Division of Open Government, Director of AG Healey’s Division of Open Government Jonathan Sclarsic, Assistant Attorney General Sara Colb of AG Healey’s Civil Rights Division, Chief of AG Healey’s Public Protection and Advocacy Bureau Jonathan Miller, with assistance from Civil Investigator Kristen Salera.

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Media Contact for Ten States Challenge U.S. Department of Homeland Security for Failing to Disclose Immigration Records

Office of Attorney General Maura Healey 

Attorney General Maura Healey is the chief lawyer and law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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