Extraction Room Procedures

Jay Gairson filed this request with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of the United States of America.
Tracking # COW2013000746
Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Jay Gairson

To Whom It May Concern:

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

* The current USCIS checklist, procedures, manuals, training materials, or other documents or media that explain the manner in which incoming mail is to be processed by the extraction room. This should include the instructions on how incoming mailings are assembled, preferred organization of documents, when appropriate checklists for the documents that should be included with any applications or petitions, and any special procedures for incoming documents.

* Include an index, list, database return, or similar showing all documentation and training documents pertaining to the "extraction room".

* This is not a request for mail room procedures, but for the extraction room procedures. The "extraction room" is referenced in the mail room procedures, which is what has led to this request.

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,

Jay Gairson

From: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

A no responsive documents response.

From: Jay Gairson

Jill:

I should have said "Extractions Area", not "Extraction Room". The record given to me in response to request COW2013000633 was the "Incoming Mail Standard Operating Procedures Module 1 Version 7.5". On Page 2, in the Table of Contents, there is the line item "Distributing Mail to Extractions Area .... 15". On Page 15, the following is written:

"
Distributing Mail to Extractions Area:
The steps to distributing mail to Extraction are as follows:
1. At the beginning of each shift, the supervisor/team lead informs the Extraction spider what type of mail (i.e., direct, specific date of work etc.) should be distributed to the extraction area."
2. The spider or mail clerk removes mail from the storage rack and hand delivers it [to] the extraction associates.
"

The term "Extraction" is also used on Page 14:

"
Tagging Mail Bins with Bin Number Label
Ensure that Bin Number labels are affixed to each postal mail tray prior to the distribution of mail to Extraction.
"

The term "Extraction" is used a total of seven times in the document. Three uses are for "Extractions area" or "extraction area"; two stand alone uses of "Extraction" that are capitalized; one use of "Extraction spider"; and one use of "extraction associates".

The above varied uses of "Extraction", especially when capitalized, imply that a part of the incoming mailroom, or a separate room, is used for "extraction". The definition of the word "extraction" is the "act of pulling something out." The word "extract" used in the mailing context reasonably implies the process of taking the contents of mail received. Since there is an "Extractions area", it is implied that such an "area" would have the responsibility of taking out the documents contained within the mailings received by USCIS. Since "Extractions" is capitalized, it appears that there is a unit of USCIS or the USCIS mailrooms or its contractors mailrooms that handles the removal of mail from envelopes. Furthermore, since this is a process that occurs and the government tends to have standard operating procedures for such processes, it is reasonable that there would be some form of document(s) that govern the process by which mail received is extracted from the envelopes in the "Extraction area". The process of "extraction" is not covered in the Incoming Mail SOP, therefore it appears that it would be handled in a separate document.

Please correct my original request to read "Extractions area" not room. My apologies for the error in referring to the documents by the term "room". This should reveal responsive documents.

Thank you,

Jay Gairson

From: Jay Gairson

On October 7, 2013, for USCIS FOIA Request COW2013000746, I received a response that there are "no records related to extraction room procedures". It is extremely unlikely that a thorough search was done for the requested records, given that there are multiple references to the extract room or extraction area in the Incoming Mail Standard Operating Procedures Module 1 Version 7.5, which were released to me in response to request COW2013000633. Therefore, I appeal the no responsive records decision and request that a thorough search be done for these materials. I further advise that the search should be broadened - as is proper - to synonymous and approximates of "room" or "area" to include "extraction room" "extraction area" "extraction spider" "extraction associates" and any other terms that may reasonably lead to responsive materials providing the requested information. Specific references to these materials are located below:

On Page 15 of the Incoming Mail Standard Operating Procedures Module 1 Version 7.5, the following is written:

"
Distributing Mail to Extractions Area:
The steps to distributing mail to Extraction are as follows:
1. At the beginning of each shift, the supervisor/team lead informs the Extraction spider what type of mail (i.e., direct, specific date of work etc.) should be distributed to the extraction area."
2. The spider or mail clerk removes mail from the storage rack and hand delivers it [to] the extraction associates.
"

The term "Extraction" is also used on Page 14:

"
Tagging Mail Bins with Bin Number Label
Ensure that Bin Number labels are affixed to each postal mail tray prior to the distribution of mail to Extraction.
"

The term "Extraction" is used a total of seven times in the document. Three uses are for "Extractions area" or "extraction area"; two stand alone uses of "Extraction" that are capitalized; one use of "Extraction spider"; and one use of "extraction associates".

The above varied uses of "Extraction", especially when capitalized, imply that a part of the incoming mailroom, or a separate room, is used for "extraction". The definition of the word "extraction" is the "act of pulling something out." The word "extract" used in the mailing context reasonably implies the process of taking the contents of mail received. Since there is an "Extractions area", it is implied that such an "area" would have the responsibility of taking out the documents contained within the mailings received by USCIS. Since "Extractions" is capitalized, it appears that there is a unit of USCIS or the USCIS mailrooms or its contractors mailrooms that handles the removal of mail from envelopes. Furthermore, since this is a process that occurs and the government tends to have standard operating procedures for such processes, it is reasonable that there would be some form of document(s) that govern the process by which mail received is extracted from the envelopes in the "Extraction area". The process of "extraction" is not covered in the Incoming Mail SOP, therefore it appears that it would be handled in a separate document.

Thank you for double checking that there are no other materials on "extractions".

Jay Gairson

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Oct. 2, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #COW2013000746.

Thank you for your help.

From: Umoru, Victoria E

Dear Jay Gairson,

Attached is the decision letter on your FOIA request (COW2013000746) which was mailed to you on October 7, 2013.

Sincerely,

Victoria Umoru
Government Information Specialist
Significant Interest Group (SIG)
National Records Center

From: Jay Gairson

I am appealing COW2013000746 because a compete search for responsive records was not done. See the previously submitted message below and consider it the elements of my appeal for a proper record search to be conducted:
---

On October 7, 2013, for USCIS FOIA Request COW2013000746, I received a response that there are "no records related to extraction room procedures". It is extremely unlikely that a thorough search was done for the requested records, given that there are multiple references to the extract room or extraction area in the Incoming Mail Standard Operating Procedures Module 1 Version 7.5, which were released to me in response to request COW2013000633. Therefore, I appeal the no responsive records decision and request that a thorough search be done for these materials. I further advise that the search should be broadened - as is proper - to synonymous and approximates of "room" or "area" to include "extraction room" "extraction area" "extraction spider" "extraction associates" and any other terms that may reasonably lead to responsive materials providing the requested information. Specific references to these materials are located below:

On Page 15 of the Incoming Mail Standard Operating Procedures Module 1 Version 7.5, the following is written:

"
Distributing Mail to Extractions Area:
The steps to distributing mail to Extraction are as follows:
1. At the beginning of each shift, the supervisor/team lead informs the Extraction spider what type of mail (i.e., direct, specific date of work etc.) should be distributed to the extraction area."
2. The spider or mail clerk removes mail from the storage rack and hand delivers it [to] the extraction associates.
"

The term "Extraction" is also used on Page 14:

"
Tagging Mail Bins with Bin Number Label
Ensure that Bin Number labels are affixed to each postal mail tray prior to the distribution of mail to Extraction.
"

The term "Extraction" is used a total of seven times in the document. Three uses are for "Extractions area" or "extraction area"; two stand alone uses of "Extraction" that are capitalized; one use of "Extraction spider"; and one use of "extraction associates".

The above varied uses of "Extraction", especially when capitalized, imply that a part of the incoming mailroom, or a separate room, is used for "extraction". The definition of the word "extraction" is the "act of pulling something out." The word "extract" used in the mailing context reasonably implies the process of taking the contents of mail received. Since there is an "Extractions area", it is implied that such an "area" would have the responsibility of taking out the documents contained within the mailings received by USCIS. Since "Extractions" is capitalized, it appears that there is a unit of USCIS or the USCIS mailrooms or its contractors mailrooms that handles the removal of mail from envelopes. Furthermore, since this is a process that occurs and the government tends to have standard operating procedures for such processes, it is reasonable that there would be some form of document(s) that govern the process by which mail received is extracted from the envelopes in the "Extraction area". The process of "extraction" is not covered in the Incoming Mail SOP, therefore it appears that it would be handled in a separate document.
---

Thank you,

Jay Gairson

From: Jay Gairson

I am appealing COW2013000746 because a compete search for responsive records was not done. See the previously submitted message below and consider it the elements of my appeal for a proper record search to be conducted:
---

On October 7, 2013, for USCIS FOIA Request COW2013000746, I received a response that there are "no records related to extraction room procedures". It is extremely unlikely that a thorough search was done for the requested records, given that there are multiple references to the extract room or extraction area in the Incoming Mail Standard Operating Procedures Module 1 Version 7.5, which were released to me in response to request COW2013000633. Therefore, I appeal the no responsive records decision and request that a thorough search be done for these materials. I further advise that the search should be broadened - as is proper - to synonymous and approximates of "room" or "area" to include "extraction room" "extraction area" "extraction spider" "extraction associates" and any other terms that may reasonably lead to responsive materials providing the requested information. Specific references to these materials are located below:

On Page 15 of the Incoming Mail Standard Operating Procedures Module 1 Version 7.5, the following is written:

"
Distributing Mail to Extractions Area:
The steps to distributing mail to Extraction are as follows:
1. At the beginning of each shift, the supervisor/team lead informs the Extraction spider what type of mail (i.e., direct, specific date of work etc.) should be distributed to the extraction area."
2. The spider or mail clerk removes mail from the storage rack and hand delivers it [to] the extraction associates.
"

The term "Extraction" is also used on Page 14:

"
Tagging Mail Bins with Bin Number Label
Ensure that Bin Number labels are affixed to each postal mail tray prior to the distribution of mail to Extraction.
"

The term "Extraction" is used a total of seven times in the document. Three uses are for "Extractions area" or "extraction area"; two stand alone uses of "Extraction" that are capitalized; one use of "Extraction spider"; and one use of "extraction associates".

The above varied uses of "Extraction", especially when capitalized, imply that a part of the incoming mailroom, or a separate room, is used for "extraction". The definition of the word "extraction" is the "act of pulling something out." The word "extract" used in the mailing context reasonably implies the process of taking the contents of mail received. Since there is an "Extractions area", it is implied that such an "area" would have the responsibility of taking out the documents contained within the mailings received by USCIS. Since "Extractions" is capitalized, it appears that there is a unit of USCIS or the USCIS mailrooms or its contractors mailrooms that handles the removal of mail from envelopes. Furthermore, since this is a process that occurs and the government tends to have standard operating procedures for such processes, it is reasonable that there would be some form of document(s) that govern the process by which mail received is extracted from the envelopes in the "Extraction area". The process of "extraction" is not covered in the Incoming Mail SOP, therefore it appears that it would be handled in a separate document.
---

Thank you,

Jay Gairson

From: Jay Gairson

Please provide me with information as to the estimated cost of production. I request this information under protest and reserve the right to pursue judicial remedies.

Sincerely,

Jay Gairson

From: Umoru, Victoria E

Mr. Gairson,

In response to the case number referenced above, please note that we are unable to provide you with a fee estimate because no records exist as indicated to you in our response when the case was closed.

Sincerely,

Victoria Umoru
Government Information Specialist
Significant Interest Group (SIG)
DHS | USCIS | NRC | Lee's Summit |MO 64064

From: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.

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