Matthew Segal, legal director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, this afternoon released the following statement regarding the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s recent finding that US Customs and Border Protection officials violated federal court orders requiring them to notify airlines that the Trump Administration’s Muslim ban was no longer valid.
“We are deeply disappointed, but not surprised, to learn that the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General has found that Customs and Border Protection violated the temporary restraining order (TRO) secured by the ACLU of Massachusetts and our co-counsel on January 29, 2017. Although we certainly cannot expect President Trump to respect the courts, we should be able to count on his Administration and its lawyers to follow court orders. We are now considering our options for responding to this reported violation of an order halting the first Muslim ban.”
The temporary restraining order won by the ACLU of Massachusetts and its co-counsel on January 29, 2017, prohibited the government from detaining or removing anyone based on the Muslim ban. It also specifically required Customs and Border Protection to “notify airlines that have flights arriving at Logan Airport” about the TRO, including the TRO’s guarantee “that individuals on these flights will not be detained or returned based solely on the” Muslim ban.
Yet, according to DHS’s Inspector General, CBP illegally instructed airlines not to board people affected by the Muslim ban, and nearly every airline followed those illegal instructions.