American Oversight and ACLU of Massachusetts Sue DHS for Border Security Plan

American Oversight and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts on Tuesday sued the Department of Homeland Security to compel the release of a border security plan submitted to Congress, with the aim of shedding light on the Trump administration’s actual border security priorities.

The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, comes after the DHS failed to respond to American Oversight and ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act request for the plan, which was reportedly delivered to Congress in December. After shutting down the federal government for more than a month over, Trump declared a national emergency in February to fund border wall construction without congressional approval. The administration has since shifted at least $1 billion from the Pentagon’s budget to fund fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“President Trump has relied on border-based rhetoric to rally his political base and justify extreme immigration policies since day one, going so far as to declare a national emergency along the southern border — but the president has consistently failed to provide evidence to back up his claims,” said Austin Evers, executive director of American Oversight. “If the president’s emergency declaration was merely a crisis manufactured to serve political interests, the public should know.”

Under the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act for 2018, DHS was required to submit a risk-based plan to the Senate and House Appropriations Committees. Among other requirements, the act directs the department to explain how its proposed projects, such as “the use of personnel, fencing, other forms of tactical infrastructure, and technology” will “address the highest priority border security needs.” That plan has still not been made public.

“The Trump administration has lied about border statistics and conditions, continued to push narratives that are proven false, and egregiously distorted realities in service of an unconstitutional and anti-immigrant agenda,” said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts. “The public has an urgent right to know whether the president has a history of misrepresenting facts relating to the situation at the border.”

Part of Investigation:

Related Blog Posts

September 13, 2019

News Roundup: Photos of Detention Centers for Migrant Children; Stephen Miller’s Hand in Immigration Policy

Administration for Children and Families, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Georgia Office of the Governor, Georgia Secretary of State, HHS Office of Inspector General, Small Business Administration
News
September 8, 2019

Photos from Inside Detention Centers for Migrant Children

Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services, HHS Office of Inspector General
Investigation Update
August 30, 2019

News Roundup: Remain in Mexico’s Harmful Effects and Trump’s Dangerous Impatience

Centers For Medicare and Medicaid Services, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, Florida House of Representatives, Florida Senate, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Geological Survey
News
July 19, 2019

News Roundup: Investigating the Fallout from Spring’s DHS Shakeup

Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Department of Transportation, Florida Office of the Governor, General Services Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Tennessee Valley Authority
News
June 27, 2019

The Department of Homeland Security Doesn’t Know Where Trump Got Those Immigration Numbers, Either

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security
Investigation Update
June 18, 2019

Lawsuit Seeks Records to Shed Light on Deaths of Detainees in DHS Custody

Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
News
June 13, 2019

Documents Reveal New Information About 2017 CBP Media Efforts

Customs and Border Protection
Investigation Update
May 24, 2019

News Roundup: Congressional Hearing Shows and No-Shows

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Taylor County - Florida
News
March 13, 2019

Two Years of American Oversight

News
February 15, 2019

News Roundup: Citizenship, the Census and the Constitution

Department of Commerce, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice
News
February 1, 2019

News Roundup: More Troops at the Border Means More Questions for the Administration

Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security
News
January 18, 2019

News Roundup: Two Troubling Inspector General Reports

Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Homeland Security, General Services Administration
News
January 11, 2019

News Roundup: The Administration’s Misleading Claims About Terrorists at the Southern Border

Department of Homeland Security
News
December 27, 2018

Countdown to Oversight in 2019

News
December 12, 2018

Audit the Wall: No Plans, Funding or Timeline — And No Wall

Customs and Border Protection, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State
Investigation Update
December 5, 2018

American Oversight Sues Administration for Records of Family-Separation Policy

Administration for Children and Families, Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review, HHS Office of Inspector General, Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Investigation Update