United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER
CORBETT O'MEARA UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the court is Plaintiffs' motion to deem certain
allegations in the complaint admitted or, in the alternative,
to take a limited Rule 30(b)(6) deposition. Relying on the
parties' full briefing of this matter, the court did not
hear oral argument.
- the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, Dr. Geoffrey Alan
Boyce, Dr. Elizabeth Oglesby, and the American Civil
Liberties Union of Michigan - filed this action against the
U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Customs and Border
Protection. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants have failed to
properly respond to their Freedom of Information Act request,
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 522.
general, Plaintiffs seek records related to the Border
Patrol's policies, practices, and procedures regarding
apprehensions, detentions, enforcement actions, and
complaints. See Compl. at Ex. A (Plaintiffs'
FOIA Request). Plaintiffs contend that the Border Patrol
treats the entire state of Michigan as a border zone, where
persons and vehicles are subject to warrantless searches.
See 8 U.S.C. § 1357(a)(3) (authorizing Border
Patrol agents to conduct warrantless searches of vehicles
“within a reasonable distance from any external
boundary of the United States . . . for the purpose of
patrolling the border to prevent the illegal entry” of
non-citizens); 8 C.F.R. § 287.1(b) (“reasonable
distance” from border not more than 100 air miles from
to this motion, Plaintiffs make the following allegations in
3. The relevant regulations provide that CBP can determine
what a “reasonable distance” is based on local
factors, but that the distance shall not be more than 100 air
miles from the international boundary. 8 C.F.R. §
287.1(b). That maximum distance is called the “100 mile
4. In Michigan, CBP has not only set the “reasonable
distance” for the entire state at the maximum 100
miles, but also considers the entire state to be within 100
miles of an international boundary, and hence within the
“100 mile zone.”
5. Under this interpretation, CBP agents patrolling the
“border” could potentially subject anyone in
Michigan - regardless of where he or she is within the state
- to warrantless detention and search.
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30. A map prepared by CBP and obtained by Plaintiffs shows
that CBP uses 100 miles as the “reasonable
distance” everywhere in the state. The map also shows
that CBP considers the entire state of Michigan to be within
the 100-mile zone. That map is reproduced below.
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32. Based on the map, it appears CBP believes that no warrant
is needed for Border Patrol agents to detain and search