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Immigration Law

FOIA Sensei Matthew Hoppock Scores Again!

Matthew Hoppock, Oct. 12, 2021

Here Are the BIA Chairman’s Memos From 2004 to 2018 Obtained Through FOIA

"For the last four years, we’ve been using the Freedom of Information Act to request records describing the policies and procedures that govern the processing of appeals and motions to reopen at the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Immigration Courts.

One resource that wasn’t previously publicly available was the BIA “Chairmans Memos” – a series of brief statements from the BIA Chairman directing BIA members and staff on how to process specific kinds of appeals. There appears to be several for each year, usually instructing staff on types of cases. When we asked for screenshots from the BIA’s intranet pages, one in particular listed these memos:

In June 2018 we also received a handful of these memos in response to a separate FOIA request, but most of them were missing.

Anyway, now we have received the last of the memos in the set from 2004 to 2018. I’ve divided them up and run them through OCR. Also, if you’d rather just download the whole set, it’s here. The rest are here..." [Be sure to scroll down to see Matthew's interpolated comments!]