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DHS Still Stalling on Access to Counsel FOIA Response: AIC v. DHS

March 13, 2014 (1 min read)

"This dispute started with a Freedom of Information Act request by the American Immigration Council, an immigration law and policy group, seeking information about individuals’ access to counsel during their interactions with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. After the government repeatedly refused to release documents responsive to AIC’s request, the group sued the Department of Homeland Security and ICE. Defendants finally produced certain responsive documents and moved for summary judgment, which this Court rebuffed in Am. Immigration Council v. Dept. of Homeland Sec., 950 F. Supp. 2d 221 (D.D.C. 2013). Defendants have now retooled and renew their request in a second Motion for Summary Judgment. AIC claims, in opposition, that Defendants have still not complied with their obligations under FOIA. 

Although Defendants repeatedly excoriate AIC for “wast[ing] enough of the Court’s and Defendants’ time,” Mot. at 1; see also Reply at 4 n.5, the reality is that Defendants have wasted their own time by neglecting to follow the Court’s clear instructions, set out in its prior Opinion, about what they must do to prevail in this matter. Because the government has again failed to demonstrate that it conducted an adequate search for records and has also failed to include in its Vaughn Index one of the withheld documents, the Court must deny the Motion in part. The Court, however, will grant Defendants summary judgment in part on their decisions to redact eleven documents that were included in their Vaughn Index." - AIC v. DHS, Mar. 5, 2014.