Disciplinary Action Against BIA Members

Matthew Hoppock filed this request with the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review of the United States of America.
Tracking #

2019-2130, DOJ-AP-2019-002160

2019-2130

Due Nov. 9, 2018
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Matthew Hoppock

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

1. The records of any disciplinary action taken against any permanent or temporary members of the Board of Immigration Appeals since January 1, 2013.
2. The records of any complaints filed against any permanent or temporary members of the Board of Immigration Appeals since January 1, 2013.
3. The records related to any temporary or permanent members of the Board of Immigration Appeals being restricted from entering the BIA's building since January 1, 2013.

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.

Sincerely,

Matthew Hoppock

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

Matthew, please see FOIA response attached. Wr/JRS

From: Matthew Hoppock

The agency invokes exemption b6 but has not explained or demonstrated why the withheld information is subject to that exemption or why the records can't be redacted to prevent the invasion of personal privacy.

BIA members are employees of the Department of Justice. The agency has already been ordered by a court to turn over its disciplinary records regarding Immigration Judges, including identifying their names. There is no meaningful reason (and none expressed in the denial letter) why Board Member discipline should be treated differently.

EOIR improperly invoked Exemption 6 to claim that any complaints against BIA members would necessarily need to be withheld in full because of privacy concerns. First, there are no privacy concerns at stake here. See AILA v EOIR, No. 13-cv-00840 (D.D.C. filed June 6, 2013).

Second, there is no reason these records couldn't be redacted to limit the release of the BIA member's name.

The public interest is especially high. A BIA member was apparently banned from the BIA building as a disciplinary measure in response to a complaint filed with the agency. The public has a right to know what the agency found to have occurred, who the member was, and why they were given such an extreme and serious punishment.

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

This message is to notify you of a new appeal submission to the FOIAonline application. Appeal information is as follows:
* Appeal Tracking Number: DOJ-AP-2019-002160
* Request Tracking Number: 2019-2130
* Requester Name: Matthew Hoppock
* Date Submitted: 01/28/2019
* Appeal Status: Submitted
* Description: EOIR Appeal

From: Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review

DOJ-AP-2019-002160 has been processed with the following final disposition: Completely Reversed/Remanded

  • Hoppock, Matthew EOIR 19-002160_appeal response (4-19-19) remand

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