It is a clone of this request.
|Submitted||Nov. 7, 2021|
MuckRock users can file, duplicate, track, and share public records requests like this one. Learn more.
To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:
1. Decision information issued between 08/01/2021 through 09/31/2021 for all immigration judges, including the following information:
IJ NAME IDNCASE IDNPROCEEDING CASE_TYPE APPL_CODE COMP_DATE IJ DECISION NAT_NAME
If available, please also include records indicating whether the Respondent was represented or pro se. Please provide these records in spreadsheet format.
2. Copies of all electronically stored written decisions issued by Immigration Judges 10/01/2021 through 10/31/2021.
I understand that due to an ongoing backlog, written decisions that are not already electronically filed may be difficult to locate at this time. For that reason, I am requesting that all written decisions that are electronically stored be produced for the sake of expediency. This request is made on behalf of the Deportation Accountability Project, a non-profit organization that seeks to make deportation data publically available. These records will be made available to the public on our website www.deportationaccountabilityproject.org and will be also available to the public through Muckrock.
Further, I request that if one portion of this request will take significantly longer than the other, please release the documents as they become available.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.
Dear Brooke Bischoff: This response acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) dated 11/07/2021 and received 11/07/2021. Your request has been assigned control number 2022-07909. The FOIA requires an agency to respond within 20 working days after receipt of the request, and EOIR endeavors to meet this standard. The FOIA permits a ten-day extension of this time period, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B), based on unusual circumstances. Your request involves “unusual circumstances,” and EOIR is extending the time period to respond by an additional 10 working days because your request requires the collection of records from field offices, or involves a search, collection, and review of voluminous records, or requires consultation with another agency or two or more agency components. Please be advised that due to necessary operational changes as a result of the national emergency concerning the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, there may be significant delay in the processing of your request. EOIR FOIA requests are placed in one of three tracks. Track one is for those requests that seek and receive expedited processing pursuant to subsection (a)(6)(E) of the FOIA. Track two is for simple requests that do not involve voluminous records or lengthy consultations with other entities. Track three is for complex requests that involve voluminous records and for which lengthy or numerous consultations are required, or those requests that may involve sensitive records. Your request has been placed in track three for complex requests. If you have filed an application for a fee waiver, EOIR will address your request in a separate letter. Additionally, if you have requested expedited processing, EOIR will contact you in a separate letter. If you have any questions regarding unusual circumstances, you may contact the EOIR FOIA Service Center or FOIA Public Liaison at (703) 605-1297 to discuss reformulation or an alternative time frame to process your request, or for any further assistance regarding any aspect of your request. Alternatively, you may contact the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) at the National Archives and Records Administration to inquire about the FOIA mediation services they offer. The contact information for OGIS is as follows: Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, Room 2510, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland 20740-6001; e-mail at email@example.com; telephone at (202) 741-5770; toll free at (877) 684-6448; or facsimile at (202) 741-5769. Sincerely, FOIA Intake
Dear Ms. Bischoff:
This correspondence is in response to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) dated 11/07/2021 in which you seek records related to CASE data/IJ Decisions (all eROP). The information you seek is publicly available at our webpage here under "EOIR CASE data": FOIA Library (justice.gov) Specifically, see tables B_TableProceeding, tbl_Court_Appln, and tbl_RepsAssigned. Note that the tables can be filtered and sorted by converting the files to Excel spreadsheet per the vendor instructions here: (https://www.justice.gov/eoir/foia-library-0) Convert a CSV file into an Excel spreadsheet - Power Automate | Microsoft Docs. A lookup table is also provided to explain codes (e.g. IJ_Code, which can be translated to IJ Name). Multiple tables can be cross-referenced using the IDN CASE. (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-automate/desktop-flows/how-to/convert-csv-excel)
As to the second part of your request, EOIR cannot process your request at this time as it does not reasonably define a set of records to search as required by the FOIA and DOJ regulations. 5 U.S.C. § 522(a)(3); 28 C.F.R. § 16.3(b). Please resubmit to include a subset of decisions not to exceed 25-50 such decisions.
For your information, Congress excluded three discrete categories of law enforcement and national security records from the requirements of the FOIA. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(c) (2006 & Supp. IV 2010). This response is limited to those records that are subject to the requirements of the FOIA. This is a standard notification that is given to all our requesters and should not be taken as an indication that excluded records do, or do not, exist. See http://www.justice.gov/oip/foiapost/2012foiapost9.html.
You may contact the EOIR FOIA Public Liaison at (703) 605-1297 or EOIR.FOIArequests@usdoj.gov for any further assistance and to discuss any aspect of your request. Additionally, you may contact the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) at the National Archives and Records Administration to inquire about the FOIA mediation services they offer. The contact information for OGIS is as follows: Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, Room 2510, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Maryland 20740-6001; e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone at (202) 741-5770; toll free at (877) 684-6448; or facsimile at (202) 741-5769.
If you are not satisfied with the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s determination in response to this request, you may administratively appeal by writing to the Director, Office of Information Policy (OIP), United States Department of Justice, 441 G Street, NW, 6th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20530, or you may submit an appeal through OIP’s FOIA STAR portal by creating an account following the instructions on OIP’s website https://www.justice.gov/oip/submit-and-track-request-or-appeal.Your appeal must be postmarked or electronically transmitted within 90 days of the date of my response to your request. If you submit your appeal by mail, both the correspondence and the envelope should be clearly marked “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.”
Supervisory Attorney Advisor (FOIA)
I would like to appeal the letter I received saying that my FOIA request "does not reasonably define a set of records."
I believe that I very narrowly constructed my request to a limited number of records that would relate to the stated subject. It is inappropriate for this agency to issue such after receiving such a request when the agency maintains a public database containing the number of decisions issued by each judge by month. I am simply requesting that you provide copies of the decisions issued between the dates specified.
Further, the requirement to "reasonably describe" applies only to the search phase. The difficulty of reviewing and redacting, even for "voluminous" responsive documents, is irrelevant to the threshold question of whether a request is "reasonably described".
DoJ FOIA Update, Vol. IV, No. 3, at 5:
"The sheer size or burdensomeness of a FOIA request, in and of itself, does not entitle an agency to deny that request on the ground that it does not 'reasonably describe' records within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(3)(A). That provision in the FOIA was intended to ensure that a FOIA request description "be sufficient [to enable] a professional employee of the agency who was familiar with the subject area of the request to locate the record with a reasonable amount of effort." H.R. Rep. No. 93-876, 93d Cong., 2d Sess. 6 (1974). See also S. Rep. No. 93-854, 93d Cong., 2d Sess. 10 (1974) ("[T]he identification standard should not be used to obstruct public access to agency records."); Bristol-Meyers Co. v. FTC, 424 F.2d 935, 938 (D.C. Cir.), cert.denied, 400 U.S. 824 (1970)."
As such, I appeal this decision and request that you provide the records as originally requested.
The Office of Information Policy has received your FOIA Appeal. Please see the attached acknowledgment letter.
The Office of Information Policy has made its final determination on your FOIA Appeal Number A-2022-00645 . A copy of this determination is enclosed for your review, along with any enclosures, if applicable. Thank you.