Massachusetts AG Healey Sues Trump Administration Again, Seeks Detention and Deportation Records of Illegal Aliens

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BOSTON — Another day, and another lawsuit filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey versus the administration of President Donald Trump.

On Monday, Healey joined attorneys general in 14 other states in suing Trump over his plan to bar transgender individuals from enlisting in the armed services.

A day later, Healey again took the Trump administration to federal court, this time in an apparent effort to force the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to respond to her request for records related to the detentions and subsequent deportations of illegal immigrants. According to Healey’s 27-page complaint, she and nine other attorneys general filed Freedom of Information Act paperwork with DHS in June and have yet to receive a response.

“Plaintiff states sought records related to federal immigration enforcement activity within the respective states,” her complaint states, referring to the eight other states and the District of Columbia that jointly filed suit. “Defendants have violated FOIA by failing to respond to Plaintiff States’ request within the statutorily prescribed time limit, failing to disclose the requested documents, and unlawfully withholding the requested information.

“Plaintiff States now ask the Court to order Defendants to respond to the request and to disclose all responsive records improperly withheld from Plaintiff States.”

Federal agencies, under public records laws, have a maximum of 20 business days to respond to such requests.

Deportation and detention rulings, however, are already posted on the websites of various federal courts, searchable via PACER, otherwise known as the Public Access to Court Electronic Records, but Healey in her lawsuit claims that Homeland Security and other agencies falling under the Homeland Security umbrella are dragging their heels. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, for example, purportedly told Healey and other AGs in a July 7 response that “due to the increasing number of FOIA requests received by this office, we may encounter some delay in processing your request.”

Other sub-agencies responded with similar answers, and according to Healey, have deflected subsequent requests for updates.

“The agencies have not objected to the request nor provided any detailed information regarding specific circumstances preventing the disclosure of the records sought,” the complaint states. “Defendants have not provided contact information for their FOIA public liaisons to discuss the request or discuss a timeframe for its resolution.”

Healey and her fellow AGs claim they’ve “exhausted their administrative remedies.”

She later pointed to statistics released by ICE in August showing that during the first four months under the Trump administration, immigration-related arrests have climbed by 40 percent.

“It is critical for plaintiff States to understand the nature of federal immigration enforcement activities and the effects of these activities on the residents and law enforcement agencies of the respective states,” Healey argued.

On Wednesday Healey’s office directed New Boston Post to a press release regarding the new lawsuit.

“The Trump administration has chosen to operate in the dark when it comes to enforcement of immigration policies,” Healey said in a prepared statement. “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.”

Healey also specified that her office is serving as the lead AG’s office in the lawsuit against DHS.

Read a copy of the lawsuit:

2017-10-17 Healey Foia v Dhs by Evan on Scribd