Department of Labor PERM program case information

Wei Jin filed this request with the Department of Labor of the United States of America.
Tracking # 690642
Est. Completion None
Status
Withdrawn

Communications

From: Frank Lin

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

For all submitted and approved PERM cases after October 1, 2006, I request the case number (e.g. A-07323-97014), original case filing date (or "submission date"), country of citizenship of the foreign worker, and experience and degree requirement for the job (that is, the answers to question 6, 6A, 8, 8A, 8B, and 8C of Section H on the current ETA Form 9089, or other equivalent questions on older version of the form, if applicable).

It is our understanding that there are 98,753, 61,997, 38,247, 81,412, and 73,207 cases filed in Fiscal Years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, respectively. For FY 2012 data, we request the year-to-date filed cases.

The information, to our knowledge, is maintained by Office of Foreign Labor Certification. The information requested in this letter is not currently available on "OFLC Case Disclosure Data" website (http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/quarterlydata.cfm) maintained by your agency.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, 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.

Sincerely,

Frank Lin

From: Miller, Darlene - SOL

Mr. Lin:

Your request has been assigned to the Employment Training Administration
(ETA) with tracking number 690642. When ETA begins processing your
request, you will be able to track its progress at www.dol.gov/foia. If
you need to contact them about the request or to inquire about its
status, please submit your inquiry through foiastatus.eta@dol.gov. In
addition, it would be helpful to include the tracking number in the
Subject line of any submission to the agency.

Thank you for providing us an opportunity to serve you. --

Darlene Miller

From: FLC, Post - ETA

Frank Lin

RE: Freedom of Information Act Request Acknowledgement and Notice of Backlog Letter

Tracking Number 690642 - Subject: Submitted and Approved PERM cases after 10/01/06

Dear Mr. Lin:

Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated July 11, 2012, to the Department of Labor. Your request was referred to the Office of Foreign Labor Certification on July 16, 2012. Additionally, your request was assigned the tracking number noted above and is being processed in ETA's Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC). Please refer to this number in any future correspondence concerning the above referenced subject matter, including the payment of fees which may be assessed pursuant to Department of Labor regulations at 29 Code of Federal Regulations § 70.19(e).

Please be assured we endeavor to afford every request both careful attention and timely processing; however, due to the large volume of requests received by OFLC we may not be able to process your request within 20 business days. Currently, OFLC is taking approximately 25 business days to begin taking action on many requests. You can view the status of your request through the Department of Labor's FOIA Public Portal at: www.dol.gov/foia/FOIASearch.aspx <http://www.dol.gov/foia/FOIASearch.aspx> . This status will be updated as the request moves between OFLC and its national processing centers.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your FOIA request you may contact this office via mail, fax, phone or e-mail as listed above. Please refer to your assigned tracking number for future correspondence concerning the above referenced subject matter, including the payment of fees which may be assessed pursuant to Department of Labor regulations at 29 Code of Federal Regulations § 70.19(e).

I hope this information is helpful.


From: FLC, Post - ETA

July 17, 2012

Frank Lin

MuckRock News

DEPT MR 1454

Post Office Box 55819

Boston, Massachusetts 02205-5819

Sent Via E-mail and Regular Mail

RE: Freedom of Information Act Request Follow-up Communication Letter and Fee Request

Tracking Number 690642 - Subject: PERM Cases After October 1, 2006

Dear Mr. Lin:

You requested a fee waiver when you submitted your FOIA request. A person requesting a fee waiver bears the initial burden of satisfying the statutory and regulatory standards for a fee waiver. Therefore, when requesting a fee wavier, requesters should address both of the statutory and regulatory requirements in sufficient detail for the agency to make an informed decision as to whether it can appropriately waive or reduce the fees in question.

The information you have provided supporting your request for a fee waiver does not appear to support the reasoning that the information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government and that the information is not primarily in your commercial interest. Specifically, our analysis reveals that (1) the subject matter of the requested records, in the context of the request, does specifically concern or explain identifiable operations or activities of the government; (2) you did not explain how the disclosed records are likely to contribute to an understanding of specific government operation or activities in a meaningfully informative manner in relation to the subject matter of the request; (3) you did not explain how the disclosure contributes to public understanding as opposed to the individual understanding of the requester or a narrow segment of interested persons; (4) you did not explain how the disclosure contributes "significantly" to public understanding of government operations or activities; (5) the request does involve "commercial interest of the requester" which would be furthered by the disclosure; and (6) the disclosure is not greater in magnitude than the requester's commercial interest.

However, pursuant to the Department's regulations at 29 CFR § 70.40(c)(4), charges assessed for the production of records for requesters in the media category may be for review and reproduction costs. There is no charge for reproduction since you requested the records be transmitted electronically. There is no charge for the first two hours of review time, and a subsequent charge of $10 per quarter hour for professional review time.

Other than the data we maintain on our website at http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/quarterlydata.cfm. which you have indicated in your initial FOIA that you are aware we do not maintain aggregated data. We can forward to you all the applications for 2006 to present at cost and subjected to applicable FOIA exemption and you can extract the data you are requesting. Again, as you indicated in your initial email you are aware that we have received over 353616 applications for 2006 to 2011. As of July 8 2012 we have received an additional 49,679 applications which brings the total to over 403,295 applications.

The following is an estimated cost for review of the records you requested:

1. $3,920 for 98 hours of professional review time (total estimated time is 100 hours).

The total amount owed would be $3,920.

Before we take further action on your request, pursuant to Department's FOIA regulations at 29 CFR § 70.43(c), we are asking that you make an advance payment of $1,960. Alternatively, you may wish to narrow your request in some way that would reduce this fee. The narrowing of your request must be written. A check or money order for $3,920 made payable to the United States Treasury, should be mailed attention to Michelle Moreno, Office of Foreign Labor Certification FOIA Coordinator, at the following address:

United States Department of Labor

Employment and Training Administration

Office of Foreign Labor Certification

200 Constitution Avenue, NW

Room C - 4312

Washington, D.C. 20210

Please ensure FOIA number 690642 is clearly written on the check or money order. If we do not hear from you within 10 business days of the date of this letter, we will assume that you have withdrawn your request and we will consider this matter closed.

Although our denial of your fee wavier request does not bar you from any existing records we may have, you may file an appeal of this determination with the Solicitor of Labor within 90 days from the date of this letter. The appeal must state the grounds for the appeal and should include supporting statements, arguments, a copy of your initial request, and a copy of this letter. To facilitate processing, you may fax your appeal to (202) 693-2768. If mailed, please clearly mark the envelope and letter of appeal: "Freedom of Information Act Appeal," and address to: Solicitor of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room N-2428, Washington, D.C. 20210.

I hope this information is helpful.


From: Department of Labor

From: Department of Labor

From: Frank Lin

Dear Sir / Madam,

This letter refers to our recent FOIA request 690642.

Based on our new understanding of the department's internal process, we see that the production of certain PERM case statistics based on "Minimum Education Requirements" and "Countries of Citizenship" are indeed possible and low-cost. Some examples of most recent releases of such type of data are available at your agency's website:

http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/pdf/perm_labor_certification.pdf
http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/pdf/perm_select_statis_oct2011_may_2012.pdf

With this understanding, we would like to narrow the scope of our original data request. Instead of requesting individual submitted and approved PERM cases on or after October 1, 2006, we request the aggregated numbers of PERM cases for those fiscal years by "Minimum Education Requirements" and "Countries of Citizenship". For countries of citizenships, we request numbers of the following countries India, China, Philippine, Canada, South Korea, and Mexico; all others countries can be grouped as "all others". For minimum education requirements, we request grouping by "Advanced Degrees", "Bachelor's Degrees", and "all others".

We also request the agency disclose the "Minimum Education Requirement" information for each PERM case filed by US employers in all future PERM disclosure data, currently available at http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/performancedata.cfm, whenever possible.

It would also worth noting that our request is of public interest and not for our commercial interests. The data we originally requested is useful in seeing the characteristics of PERM jobs offered to foreign citizens by US employers, and the general public can contribute in detection of potential frauds (e.g. whether a particular US employer favors a foreign worker with high education levels for jobs that do not typically require the degree). The release of data would shed lights into the government's multi-agency operations of the employment-based immigration. In particular, PERM being the first step to most employment-based immigration procedures, the number of PERM cases filed and certified for beneficiaries of each country of citizenship under each degree requirement category correlates to the overall length of the wait list for the potential immigrants of similar situation. The data is also useful for cross validation of USCIS case processing and DOS immigration "wait list" maintenance, and hold the government agencies more accountable in general.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us for clarifications.

Best Regards,
Frank

From: FLC, Post - ETA

Department of Labor

Employment and Training Administration

Office of Foreign Labor Certification

200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room C-4312

Washington, D.C. 20210

Phone: 202-693-3217

Fax: 202-693-2768

E-mail: Foiastatus.ETA@dol.gov

August 20, 2012

Frank Lin

MuckRock News

DEPT MR 1454

Post Office Box 55819

Boston, Massachusetts 02205-5819

Sent Via Email and Regular Mail

RE: Freedom of Information Act Closing Request Letter

Tracking Number 690642 - Subject: PERM Cases After October 1, 2006

Dear Mr. Lin

Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated July 11, 2012, which was referred to the Office of Foreign Labor Certification on July 16, 2012. On July 17, 2012, we sent you a letter requesting a response to payment of fees to be sent to us so that we may process the documents you requested in your FOIA letter. This fee response was due to us no later than July 31, 2012. As of August 17, 2012, we have not received the requested fee response; therefore, we are closing this FOIA request.

If you obtain the requested fee waiver, you may initiate a new FOIA request at foiarequest@dol.gov.

We feel that we have been responsive as possible considering the lack of the fee response; however, you may file an appeal of this determination with the Solicitor of Labor within 90 days from the date of this letter. The appeal must state the grounds for the appeal and should include supporting statements, arguments, a copy of your initial request, and a copy of this letter. To facilitate processing, you may fax your appeal to (202) 693-5523. If mailed, please clearly mark the envelope and letter of appeal: "Freedom of Information Act Appeal," and address to: Solicitor of Labor, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room N-2428, Washington, D.C. 20210.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter you may contact this office via the contact information above.

I hope this information is helpful.


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