National Council for Immigration Reform

Emma Best filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking # 1363802-000
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Appeal

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Records relating to or mentioning the National Council for Immigration Reform, which is the latest incarnation of a group originally called the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, renamed after the 2013 death of founder Barbara Coe. Coe was known for referring to immigrants as “savages,” alleging a secret Mexican plan to “reconquer” the American Southwest, and claiming that immigration had led to an epidemic of rape and murder.

The California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR) was founded in 1994 by Barbara Coe. Its original purpose was to serve as a co-sponsor for California's Proposition 187, which would have denied social and medical benefits to undocumented immigrants and their children. The initiative passed, but was stalled in the courts for years and effectively killed in 1998 by the then newly elected Democratic Gov. Gray Davis. In 1999, CCIR helped organize a failed effort to recall Davis, who Coe derided as "Gov. Gray 'Red' Davis."

CCIR also partnered with Voice of Citizens Together (VCT) chief Glenn Spencer to stage rallies (many of them held on the Fourth of July) that have served as flashpoints in the immigration debate. On Dec. 8, 2001, for instance, the two groups co-sponsored an "In Defense of America" rally at the Anaheim, Calif., City Hall, which turned into an open brawl as anti-immigrant hard-liners clashed with Latino rights protesters in the streets.

CCIR made headlines in May 1998 when it paid for a billboard ad on Interstate 10 at the California-Arizona border that read, "Welcome to California, the Illegal Immigration State," and warned visitors, "Don't let this happen to your state." Many Latino groups charged that the sign was racist. According to an article in Jinn Magazine, Coe denied that there was any racial motivation behind the billboard but added that she was happy that it incited the anger of "Hispanic pro-alien race activist[s]." A month later, the billboard owner removed the advertisement and refunded CCIR its money.

That same year, Coe traveled to Cullman, Ala., to participate in an anti-immigration rally hosted by the white supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens (in 2005, she would admit to being a member of the group). The event was one of the first of the era where supposedly "mainstream" anti-illegal immigration activists collaborated openly with white supremacist operatives. The rally was notable for its anti-Mexican and anti-Asian oratory and the burning of a Mexican flag. Among those attending the Jan. 17, 1998, event were Paul Fromm, a Holocaust denier and associate of neo-Nazis who directs the Canadian Association of Free Expression and founded Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform; William Burchfield, a now deceased Alabama Klan leader who attended without robes or a hood; an unidentified racist skinhead with "Born to Hate" tattooed on one arm; Don Crumm of the Alabama chapter of the U.S. Taxpayers Party, a far-right party with deep roots in the extreme anti-abortion movement; and Glenn Spencer, president of CCIR's longtime ally, Voice of Citizens Together.

More recently, CCIR and Coe claimed to expose a secret Mexican conspiracy, called the Plan de Aztlán, to "reconquer" the American Southwest. Coe also argued that a shadowy "New World Order" is being imposed on America by "globalists." In an April 2002 9*1*1 newsletter, CCIR asked: "Will our sovereignty and the very lives of our children be the price for the 'cheap labor' greed-mongers $ and Third World immigrants' VOTE to keep traitors (who have betrayed their Oath) in office?" CCIR also produced a DVD, "The Takeover of America," which uses snippets of comments from Latino leaders and others, often taken out of context, as proof of the alleged plot against America.

Charges of racism have long plagued CCIR. According to the Center for New Community, Coe and CCIR's Stan Hess attended a December 1995 conference in Alabama sponsored by the Council of Conservative Citizen (CCC), a group which has described blacks as a "retrograde species of humanity." In November 2005, Coe told the Denver Post that she spoke to and belonged to the CCC.

CCIR’s influence and activism declined throughout the late 2000’s and slowed dramatically following the death of Coe in 2013. In 2014, the group hosted Tom Sunic, director of the white nationalist American Freedom Party at a meeting in Garden Grove, where Sunic spoke on “The illusions of Multiracial and Multicultural Society: The Rising Tide of Immigrant Muslim Communitarianism in Europe.”

After Coe’s death, CCIR rebranded, changing its name to the National Coalition for Immigration Reform (NCIR). Despite the rebrand, its activists continue to embrace the group’s nativist legacy. In a 2014 interview with the Orange Country Register, Elaine Proko stated, "We feel like strangers in our own country."

Please conduct a search of the Central Records System, including but not limited to the Electronic Surveillance (ELSUR) Indices, the Microphone Surveillance (MISUR) Indices, the Physical Surveillance (FISUR) Indices, and the Technical Surveillance (TESUR) Indices, for both main-file records and cross-reference records of both HQ and all field offices for all relevant names, agencies, organizations, companies and events including but not limited to those cited in the previous paragraphs and/or links as well as a cross-reference with the Southern Poverty Law Center to include any information provided by the SPLC. My request includes but is not limited to 137, 157, 176, 177, 183, 184, 188, 214 and 266 files. If previously released records are available, then I request a rolling release consisting of those records while additional records are located and processed for release.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through the non-profit Internet Archive, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance. Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross-section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category. As such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore request that fees be waived.

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,

Michael Best

From: FOIPARequest

Dear Mr. Best,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

Requests for fee waivers and expedited processing will be addressed once your request has been assigned an FOIPA request number. You will receive written notification of the FBI’s decision.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at https://www.fbi.gov<http://www.fbi.gov>/, by clicking on the SERVICES link at the top of the homepage and then click on the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy picture, or the direct link is: https://www.fbi.gov/services/records-management/foia, or by accessing the U. S. Department of Justice at https://www.justice.gov/oip. If you require additional assistance please contact us at foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov.

Thank you,

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
Ofc: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: FOIPARequest

Dear Mr. Best,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

Requests for fee waivers and expedited processing will be addressed once your request has been assigned an FOIPA request number. You will receive written notification of the FBI’s decision.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at https://www.fbi.gov<http://www.fbi.gov>/, by clicking on the SERVICES link at the top of the homepage and then click on the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy picture, or the direct link is: https://www.fbi.gov/services/records-management/foia, or by accessing the U. S. Department of Justice at https://www.justice.gov/oip. If you require additional assistance please contact us at foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov.

Thank you,

David P. Sobonya
Public Information Officer/GIS
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
Ofc: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4286
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A no responsive documents response.

From: Michael Best

I am appealing the integrity of the search, based on but not limited to the failure to perform searches for ALL indices specified, the failure to search field offices as specified and the failure to perform the cross-reference searches requested using the ample information I provided in the original request.

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

02/16/2017 04:43 PM FOIA Request: DOJ-AP-2017-002360

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

DOJ-AP-2017-002360 has been processed with the following final disposition: Completely reversed/remanded.

  • Best, Michael 17-002360 FBI (2-28-17) limited.scope.remand.cross.refer

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A letter stating that the request appeal has been received and is being processed.

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