Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum

Oregon sues DHS for not disclosing immigration records

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum

SALEM, Ore. – The State of Oregon is suing the Department of Homeland Security for failing to disclose information about detention and deportation of immigrants.

In June, ten state attorney generals–including Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum–filed a Freedom of Information Act request in Massachusetts. The complaint alleges a lack of transparency in the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement activities.

The prosecutors who signed the FOIA said they want to better understand how DHS is implementing immigration policies. They instructed the agency to release records related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), detention and/or deportations and any related administrative directives.

“We value transparency in Oregon—and we should demand the same from the federal government,” A.G. Rosenblum said. “Americans have the right to know how many immigrants have been arrested—and how many have been detained—and we should be able to review that critical information in an expedited manner.”

DHS was given until October 1 to release the documents mentioned in the complaint. On October 17, prosecutors announced DHS hasn’t responded to the FOIA request, prompting a lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges the federal government significantly increased it immigration enforcement actions, with a nearly 40% rise in arrests within the first four months of 2017. Prosecutors said it’s critical for states to understand the enforcement activities and the effects they have on residents and state law enforcement agencies.

The attorney generals involved in the suit are asking for the alleged inaction of DHS to be found unlawful, and for the agency to search and promptly disclose all records mentioned in the original FOIA request.

Oregon is joined in the suit by Washington, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia.

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