Judicial Watch Files Open Records Lawsuit against Washington, D.C. Police Department over Illegal Immigration Policies
MARCH 11, 2007
Request Seeks Documents Pertaining to Policies Governing the Interaction between Police Officers and Illegal Aliens
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed an open records lawsuit against the District of Columbia Police Department related to the department’s illegal immigration policies and procedures. Judicial Watch’s lawsuit, (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, #0001719-07), filed on March 8, 2007 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, asks the court to compel the D.C. Police Department to comply with Judicial Watch’s August 10, 2006 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Judicial Watch is seeking documents pertaining to policies and procedures governing the interaction between D.C. police officers and known or suspected illegal aliens, along with the enforcement of immigration laws.
Judicial Watch filed its open records request with the Washington D.C. Police Department as part of its ongoing investigation into so-called “sanctuary policies” that protect illegal immigrants from federal law.
“All local police departments must comply with federal immigration law, and the Washington, D.C. Police Department is no exception. The department should release all relevant documents pertaining to their illegal immigration policies, as required by law,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “It should go without saying that police policies in our nation’s capital should not undermine federal immigration law.”
On May 1, 2006 Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department to end “Special Order 40,” a policy that prohibits police officers from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status, and reportedly restricts police officers from cooperating with federal immigration officials. (ACLU lawyers intervened in the lawsuit to defend the LAPD policy.) Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department on December 22, 2006 to obtain documents concerning a proposed ordinance that would make Chicago a “sanctuary city” where illegal immigrants could live outside of federal law. Judicial Watch has also investigated similar police policies in Houston, Texas and Westchester, New York.