City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Friday that he was denied a security clearance to areas at Los Angeles International Airport controlled by Customs and Border Patrol and is appealing the decision.
Feuer’s request for a security clearance stems from President Donald Trump’s executive order in January that denied entry to the country by individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Prompted by reports of people with valid visas being detained at the airport, Feuer went to LAX and tried to meet with people who were detained but was rebuffed by federal agents.
While LAX is operated by the city, CBP has jurisdiction over the customs areas.
— LA City Attorney (@CityAttorneyLA) March 31, 2017
“When the city attorney of the nation’s second-largest city cannot gain access to all areas of the airport located in his jurisdiction, something is terribly wrong,” Feuer said.
“I went to LAX in January because I wanted to secure the release of the detainees. I also wanted very direct answers to basic questions. A security clearance would have provided me with access to the detainees so I could have assessed their situation and well-being.”
Trump’s executive order was halted by a federal judge, as was a subsequent one that had a narrower focus and allowed entry by individuals with valid visas and work permits.
Feuer has also filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the federal government on the people who were detained or turned back at LAX as a result of Trump’s order.
Michael Merriam, port director for LAX, told Feuer in a letter that his request was “not cognizable” under the Code of Federal Regulation but, “We appreciate your interest in U.S. Customs and Border Protection.”
Merriam personally rebuffed Feuer when he sought access at LAX in January.
Feuer’s appeal letter states that in the area of the CFR he cited, the head of a “local government-related agency” can receive a security clearance if their official duties “require access to the customs security area” and reiterated his request for a security clearance.
— City News Service
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