Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project, et al., v. DHS, et al., No. 1:23-cv-104769 (D. Mass, filed Mar. 2, 2023)
On December 14, 2021, the Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP) and Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) submitted a request for records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seeking information about how CBP adjudicates humanitarian parole requests. Immigration law authorizes CBP and other agencies to parole noncitizens into the United States for “humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.” As the government sets up more obstacles to legal entry—such as the former bar on entry pursuant to Title 42 and other limits on processing asylum seekers at ports of entry—humanitarian parole is often the only vehicle to seek temporary protection in the United States.
CBP has provided little information about how it adjudicates these urgent requests. Since 2017, FIRRP has been providing legal services to asylum seekers in Nogales, Sonora, just across the border from the Nogales Port of Entry into Nogales, Arizona. For their most vulnerable clients, FIRRP submits humanitarian parole applications, but the overwhelming majority of these clients have received boilerplate denials or no response at all. FIRRP and LCR submitted a FOIA request seeking CBP’s policies and procedures for processing these requests and data regarding processing times and outcomes.
After CBP failed to provide any responsive records for over a year, on March 2, 2023, FIRRP and LCR filed a lawsuit under FOIA to compel CBP to respond.
Counsel: Lawyers for Civil Rights and Florence Immigration & Refugee Rights Project
Contact: Marian Albert | Lawyers for Civil Rights | (617) 482-1145