The ACLU of Texas filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for failing to respond to the ACLU of Texas’ Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The request was filed in April 2019 shortly after ICE agents raided a factory in Allen, Texas, arresting nearly 300 individuals.
The administrative complaint argues that ICE’s refusal to provide the requested search warrants is unlawful and contrary to the public’s right to government transparency; FOIA allows any individual to request access to federal agency records or information. Under the law, all agencies are required to respond to requests within 20 days unless the agency writes to claim additional time or an exemption.
To date, ICE has not provided adequate explanation for its refusal to provide the requested documents. The ACLU of Texas is now exercising its right to challenge the agency’s actions in federal court, seeking judicial review of ICE’s claimed reasons for withholding the search warrants.