The US Customs and Border Protection Agency at Dulles International Airport has refused to grant attorneys access to any detainees it may be holding, according to Sharifa Abbasi, who is coordinating the volunteer lawyer efforts underway there. Yesterday, a federal judge for the Eastern District of Virginia ordered respondents, who include CBP, President Trump, and the CBP Port Director for Dulles Wayne Biondi, to “permit lawyers access to all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport.”
Abbasi says late Sunday morning a border agent told lawyers that agents have been instructed not to speak with them. About 15 lawyers have been directed to call Steve Sapp, an official with the CBP Office of Public Affairs, but have so far have not had their calls answered or returned. Washingtonian called the number, which directed reporters to a cellphone number whose voicemail was full.
Abbasi and one other lawyer we spoke to say officials at Dulles have refused to engage with the lawyers since this morning. A border agent who agreed to bring the lawyers’ request for access to detainees, as well as a copy of the order, to her supervisor came back with this message: “It’s not going to happen.”
Lawyers at Dulles are currently considering motions to hold the government in contempt and to compel disclosure of any individuals who are being detained.