Seeking Information About Border Patrol Practices in Ohio

Friday, March 12, 2021

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operates a headquarters near Port Clinton, Ohio. The Sandusky Bay Station opened in 2012 and CBP is tight-lipped about its operations there.

CBP has a troubled history, rife with misconduct and impunity. While the agency is usually associated with the southern U.S. border, its agents operating in other areas of the country also warrant investigation.

The Council and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE) filed four FOIA requests asking for information about CBP’s immigration enforcement practices in Ohio. The three FOIAs to CBP seek:

  1. Communications, including communication between Sandusky Bay Station and state and local law enforcement regarding translation services and immigration enforcement actions.
  2. Policies, including regarding investigative encounters; arrest quotas; targets; goals or expectations that have been imposed on Sandusky Bay Station employees; training regarding racial profiling; and guidance regarding the treatment or apprehension of minor or adults with minor children.
  3. Data and forms held by the Sandusky Bay Station since 2015. Information requested include forms I-213 that document arrests, forms I-247 (“immigration detainers”) issued by Sandusky CBP requesting state or local law enforcement entities hold suspected immigrants in state or local custody, apprehension logs, and copies of all expedited removal orders issued to individuals apprehended in Ohio.

In addition to the FOIA requests to CBP, the organizations also filed requests with the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP). The request to CRCL asked for records regarding complaints submitted to CRCL about CBP misconduct with respect to, among other things, apprehension, arrest, detention, racial profiling, collaboration with local law enforcement, and final conclusions and findings by CBP regarding complaints. The requests to Ohio State Highway Patrol sought communications, complaints, policies, and reports to shed light on the relationship between OSHP and the Sandusky Bay Station.

This FOIA lawsuit seeks records about Border Patrol activities at the Sandusky Bay Station located in northern Ohio to improve the public’s understanding of CBP’s enforcement practices at northern U.S. borders, including cooperation with local law enforcement.

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