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Law School Clinic Sues Department of Homeland Security

Yale Law School’s Allard K. Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic National Litigation Project, also known as the Balancing Civil Liberties and National Security After September 11th Clinic, sued the Department of Homeland Security in federal court in New Haven last Tuesday, seeking records of a program known as “Operation Front Line.”

The program, described as “largely secret” by Clinical Professor of Law Michael Wishnie, was run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the largest investigative and law enforcement branch of the Department of Homeland Security. A White House cost-benefit analysis described the program as carried out “to address potential vulnerabilities in immigration and trade systems relative to the national security of the United States.” The complaint alleges that “no details of the scope, duration, methodology, or results of the program have been made publicly available.”

ICE spokesperson Jamie Zuieback told the New Haven Independent that Operation Front Line “was carried out as part of a government-wide security plan in the months leading up to the 2004 presidential election and through the 2005 presidential inauguration.”

The suit was filed under the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and seeks disclosure of records describing or relating to the program.  A formal request under FOIA went unanswered by the agency.

For more information, contact:
Michael Wishnie, Clinical Professor of Law, 203-436-4780
Daniel Freeman ‘07
Adam Goldfarb ‘08
Benjamin Siracusa ‘08