PORTLAND, Maine — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement must release additional records about the agency’s detention practices in Maine and at a proposed detention center in Scarborough, a federal judge has ruled.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine and immigrants’ rights advocates sued the agency for information after an open records request was denied.
ICE eventually produced thousands of pages of heavily redacted documents that noted paint schemes and office chairs and other details in detention facilities — but not the material that the ACLU was seeking about actual detention conditions, Anahita Sotoohi, legal fellow at the ACLU of Maine, said Monday.
Judge John A. Woodcock last week ordered ICE to do a deeper search of policies, policy statements and written guidance applicable to detainees and detention activities at the Scarborough facility. It also ordered the regional field office in Boston to disclose policies that govern the detention of individuals in Scarborough.
It’s unclear if the Scarborough center has opened. An ICE spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.
“The district court’s final decision is a victory for transparency that will shed more light on ICE, an agency that operates in the shadows and evades public accountability,” Carol Garvan, legal director of ACLU of Maine, said in a statement.