Ideological Exclusion and Social Media Freedom of Information Act Case

Litigating a Freedom of Information Act case seeking more information about the government's policies and practices around considering individuals' speech, associations, and beliefs in making immigration decisions

The Clinic has served as co-counsel in the Knight First Amendment Institute’s Freedom of Information Act case to uncover information about the government’s policies and practices for considering speech, beliefs, and associations in making immigration decisions.

Shortly after taking office, President Trump issued an order directing federal agencies to develop a program for the “extreme vetting” of immigrants, refugees, and visitors to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, and other agencies have since developed and implemented policies involving the review of expressive and associational activities — including social media activity — of individuals applying for U.S. visas.

On August 7, 2017, the Knight Institute submitted FOIA requests for records relating to these “extreme vetting” policies and to the government’s claimed authority to exclude or remove non-citizens from the United States based on their beliefs and associations. This lawsuit was filed to enforce those requests.

Media Coverage

Silence Surrounds Extreme Vetting of Ideas at the Border

Knight First Amendment Institute Apr. 16, 2019

Legal Filings

Second Circuit Court of Appeals