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New Decision from West Virginia Supreme Court on Academic Freedom versus Freedom of Information Laws

The federal Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) and state open record law equivalents are designed to promote government transparency by allowing citizens to request copies of administrative records. Increasingly, they are also used to obtain otherwise private documents from government or...

New DHS FOIA Documents Posted: Nov. 2, 2015

Records Related to Illegal Immigration Across the Southern Border of the U.S. Records Relating to Locations of Facilities for Unaccompanied Alien Children

#VisaGate2015 FOIA Request Filed

Bob Gibbs' FOIA request regarding October 2015 Visa Bulletin switch.

CBP Final Rule: FOIA Procedures

Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 221 / Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - "This final rule amends the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (‘‘CBP’’) Freedom of Information Act (‘‘FOIA’’) regulations. Due to the transfer of CBP from the Department of the Treasury...

Private Immigration Prison Owners Ask Courts for Secrecy: Detention Watch Network v. ICE

CCR, Dec. 23, 2015 - "In a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case related to the federal immigration detention bed quota, advocates today pointed to the government’s inclusion of several affidavits from private prison corporations who are not parties to the case as evidence of undue corporate...

FOIA Lawsuit Filed Seeking Hutto Bond Data: Gilman v. ICE

Jazmine Ulloa, Austin American-Statesman, Dec. 30, 2015 - "As a national debate has simmered this year over the detention of immigrant families, a University of Texas law professor is seeking access to public records that she says could prove officials are setting higher bonds for women at the T...

PEP FOIA Lawsuit Filed: NDLON v. ICE

Adolfo Flores, Jan. 19, 2016 - "Three immigrant advocacy groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday against several federal agencies who failed to turn over information on a deportation program after the group filed repeated Freedom of Information Act requests. The lawsuit centers around information regarding...

Groups File Immigration 'Rocket Docket' FOIA Lawsuit Against Feds

CNS, Feb. 3, 2016 - "The Department of Justice makes it harder for vulnerable children and families to avoid deportation by hiding its priority immigration docketing policies from the public, the American Immigration Lawyers Association claims in court. Joined by three other legal groups, the AILA...

NJIC Sues DHS, ICE for PEP FOIA Disclosure

NJIC, Feb. 8, 2016 - "Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) filed a federal lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia demanding that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) release data...

In FOIA Litigation, DOJ Calls Immigration Judges "Low-Level Employees"

Josh Gerstein, Politico, Feb. 18, 2016 - "A federal appeals court is wrestling with the question of whether the government should be forced to make public the names of immigration judges accused of misconduct either on or off the job. A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit heard arguments for nearly...

News Excerpts From the April 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

H-1B FY 2017 Cap Season Begins April 1 | USCIS will begin accepting H-1B petitions subject to the fiscal year (FY) 2017 cap on April 1, 2016. The congressionally mandated cap on H-1B visas for FY 2017 is 65,000. The first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree...

Advance Copy of DOS Final Rule re FOIA/PA

FR Doc. 2016-07900 Filed: 4/5/2016 8:45 am; Publication Date: 4/6/2016 - "The Department of State (the Department) finalizes its revisions to its regulations implementing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act. The final rule reflects changes in FOIA and other statutes and consequent...

News Excerpts From the May 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

USCIS Finishes Data Entry for Cap-Subject H-1B FY17 Applications | USCIS announced on May 2 that it has finished data entry for cap-subject H-1B petitions. It will begin returning those not chosen in the lottery. Some petitions are being transferred from the Vermont Service Center to the California...

H-1B FOIA Fight Nets $150K Settlement From USCIS: Rubman v. USCIS

Rubman v. USCIS, May 25, 2016, Joint Stipulation of Dismissal -"1. Defendants agree to continue processing their response to Mr. Rubman’s May 10, 2012, FOIA request, which is assigned USCIS case number COW2012000535, in good faith and in accordance with the parties’ prior agreement,...

FOIA Lawsuit Filed Against CBP: AIC v. DHS

AIC, June 6, 2016 - "Two years ago, the American Immigration Council released an analysis of data it had obtained from the Department of Homeland Security detailing an utter lack of responsiveness to complaints filed against agents employed by United States Border Patrol. In fact, the report, No...

DC Circ. on FOIA: Bayala v. DHS

Bayala v. DHS, June 28, 2016 - "Florent Bayala filed a Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) lawsuit when the Department of Homeland Security failed to disclose many of the immigration documents he had requested and gave no particularized explanation for its withholding decision. Shortly...

FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 Signed into Law

DOJ, July 30, 2016 - "The FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 contains several substantive and procedural amendments to the FOIA, as well as new reporting requirements for agencies. In order to assist agencies in understanding all of the new changes to the FOIA, OIP has added two new resources to its website...

FOIA Changes Afoot - OIP Guidance

DOJ OIP, July 18, 2016 - "On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed into law the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, Pub. L. No. 114-185, 130 Stat. 538, which contains several substantive and procedural amendments to the FOIA. OIP has prepared a summary of the amendments as well as a redlined version of...

News Excerpts From the Aug. 1, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

Class Certification Granted in Suit Over Legal Representation for Minors | On June 24, 2016, a federal judge granted a request to certify a class of children in an ongoing suit against the Attorney General for failing to providing legal representation. The main class certified by the court consists...

FOIA Victory Against EOIR: AILA v. EOIR

AILA v. EOIR, July 29, 2016 - "Immigration judges are employees of the Department of Justice. The American Immigration Lawyers Association submitted a request to the Department under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking disclosure of records related to complaints about the conduct of immigration...

News Excerpts From the Aug. 15, 2016, Bender’s Immigration Bulletin

DHS Expands Eligibility for Provisional Waivers | On July 29, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a final rule expanding the class of noncitizens eligible to receive provisional unlawful presence waivers. Under the new regulation, all...

FOIA-ing the FOIA Manual! The Inside Scoop on USCIS and DHS Data Entry and Databases

Prof. Jacqueline Stevens, Aug. 30, 2016 - " A couple months ago, fed up with the randomness of Freedom of Information Act rote rejection letters from certain agencies - the State Department is the worst and USCIS had just lost a remand responsive to my appeal -- I got off the phone with the USCIS...

Unpublished BIA Remands: 1-Year Asylum Deadline - FOIA Results

Attorney Bryan Johnson writes: "Here is the link to full FOIA results of certain BIA remands: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ii49w8ybsb31q67/AAABiGOuyufqOGTK23QI8BTCa?dl=0 https://www.dropbox.com/s/gqs5i872hocq5tm/2016-23184%20Admin%20%26%20BCR%20Redacted%20Final.pdf?dl=0 I've yet to...

Who is ICE Deporting?

The Marshall Project, Sept. 26, 2016 - "In November 2014, President Barack Obama said that immigration officials would make it a priority to deport immigrants who had committed serious crimes. “We’re going to keep focusing enforcement resources on actual threats to our security,”...