The Cato Institute has recently filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Cato Institute that seeks to force the Biden administration’s Department of Homeland security to release the Trump travel ban report after DHS previously refused to release it voluntarily.
Cato immigration policy specialist David Bier describes the lawsuit and its potential significance:
A new lawsuit by the Cato Institute could answer the question of whether the U.S. Supreme Court was wrong to accept assertions from former President Trump that his 2017 travel ban was based on security concerns, not animus against Muslims.
Despite rescinding the ban, President Biden has still refused to disclose documents that Trump told the Court were the basis of his decision to ban immigrants from certain majority Muslim countries…
In a 5–4 decision, the Court’s majority found that the ban was based on a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report that supposedly detailed national security concerns. But the majority simply accepted this report as legitimate without ever seeing it. Indeed, DHS has allowed no one outside the Executive branch to see it.
After President Biden rescinded the ban—which he called “discriminatory”—I filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on behalf of the Cato Institute for the DHS report. DHS ignored it, so now Cato is suing. It will be the first time Biden’s DHS will have to either justify keeping the report a secret from the public or else release it.
There is no way to know for sure as to why the Biden DHS is resisting the release of the report if the contents are likely to prove embarrassing to Trump. The most obvious possible reason is they do not want to set a precedent for releasing potentially awkward or embarrassing information from Biden’s own administration.
The Biden people may believe that risk outweighs any short-term political advantage that might be gained here. If that’s their concern, there is an obvious conflict here between the administration’s interests and the public interest.
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