This lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).   The ACLU seeks records requested 16 months earlier related to the arrest, detention, and subsequent in-custody death of Kamyar Samimi, 

Mr. Samimi was born in Iran and came to the United States as a student in 1976.  He became a Legal Permanent Resident in 1978.  ICE arrested him at him home in November, 2017, and placed him in ICE detention.  He died 15 days later, on December 2, 2017.   ICE has not provided a thorough explanation of Mr. Samimi’s death.  Multiple recent reports and complaints have highlighted concerned about medical care in ICE detention facilities. 

The ACLU of Colorado filed its FOIA request three weeks after Mr. Samimi’s death.  ICE produced only five pages, which had nothing to do with Mr. Samimi’s death. The ACLU and ICE responded on July 3, 2018, stating that its investigation of Mr. Samimi’s death had been completed and more documents would be forthcoming.    Nine months later, ICE has not produced any additional documents, nor has it indicated when it might be doing so.

The filing of the FOIA lawsuit prompted ICE to release extensive documentation regarding Mr. Samimi’s death.   The ACLU described those documents in a report about the GEO facility, Cashing In On Cruelty.   The documents released in the FOIA lawsuit provided evidence for a subsequent lawsuit filed by ACLU lawyers on behalf of Mr. Samimi’s family. 


  • Systemic Indifference: Dangerous & Substandard Medical Care in US Immigraiton Detention, Human Rights Watch, May 8, 2017

  • Fatal Neglect: How ICE Ignores Deaths in Detention, ACLU Report, February, 2016

  • Cashing In On Cruelty: Stories of death, abuse and neglect at the GEO immigration detention facility in Aurora, ACLU of Colorado, September, 2019

ACLU press releases:




Arash Jahanian, ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney; Mark Silverstein, ACLU of Colorado Legal Director

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