NG-ICE Comms February 2017 (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

Emma Best filed this request with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the United States of America.
Tracking # 2017-ICFO-23239
Est. Completion None
Status
Fix Required

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:

Copies of all written (physical or electronic) communications between the National Guard and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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: ICE-FOIA

Good afternoon,

The ICE FOIA office is currently working through a backlog of new requests. Once you request has been entered into our system you will receive an acknowledgement e-mail along with a tracking number.

Sincerely,

ICE FOIA

From: US DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement FOIA Office

April 11, 2017 Michael Best MuckRock DEPT MR 33685 411A Highland Ave Somerville, MA 02144-2516 RE:     ICE FOIA Case Number 2017-ICFO-23239 Dear Mr. Best: This acknowledges receipt of your February 21, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), for request the following records copies of all written (physical or electronic) communications between the National Guard and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Your request was received in this office on February 21, 2017. After careful review of your FOIA request, we determined that your request is too broad in scope, did not specifically identify the records which you are seeking, or only posed questions to the agency.  Records must be described in reasonably sufficient detail to enable government employees who are familiar with the subject area to locate records without placing an unreasonable burden upon the agency.  For this reason, §5.3(b) of the DHS regulations, 6 C.F.R. Part 5, require that you describe the records you are seeking with as much information as possible to ensure that our search can locate them with a reasonable amount of effort.  Whenever possible, a request should include specific information about each record sought, such as the date, title or name, author, recipients, and subject matter of the records, if known, or the ICE program office you believe created and/or controls the record. The FOIA does not require an agency to create new records, answer questions posed by requesters, or attempt to interpret a request that does not identify specific records. Please resubmit your request containing a reasonable description of the records you are seeking.  Upon receipt of a perfected request, you will be advised as to the status of your request. If we do not hear from you within 10 days from the date of this letter, we will assume you are no longer interested in this FOIA request, and the case will be administratively closed.  Please be advised that this action is not a denial of your request and will not preclude you from filing other requests in the future. Your request has been assigned reference number 2017-ICFO-23239. Please refer to this identifier in any future correspondence. To check the status of an ICE FOIA/PA request, please visit . Please note that to check the status of a request, you must enter the 2016-ICFO-XXXXX or 2017-ICFO- (http://www.dhs.gov/foia-status) http://www.dhs.gov/foia-status XXXXX tracking number. If you need any further assistance or would like to discuss any aspect of your request, please contact the FOIA office. You may send an e-mail to ice-foia@ice.dhs.gov, call toll free (866) 633-1182, or you may contact our FOIA Public Liaison in the same manner. Additionally, you have a right to right to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) which mediates disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. If you are requesting access to your own records (which is considered a Privacy Act request), you should know that OGIS does not have the authority to handle requests made under the Privacy Act of 1974. You may contact OGIS as follows: Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road-OGIS, College Park, Maryland 20740-6001, e-mail at ogis@nara.gov; telephone at 202-741-5770; toll free at 1-877-684-6448; or facsimile at 202-741-5769.
Sincerely,
ICE FOIA Office
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Freedom of Information Act Office
500 12th Street, S.W., Stop 5009
Washington, D.C. 20536-5009
Telephone: 1-866-633-1182
Visit our FOIA website at www.ice.gov/foia

From: Michael Best

Thank you for reaching out for clarification. I apologize for failing to include several crucial limitations.

1. I'm interested only in communications from 2016 and 2017.
2. I'm willing to limit the request to communications to or from employees with a managerial position.
3. For email searches, I'm willing to limit the scope to the most commonly used domain for emails for both the National Guard and ICE.
4. My request isn't meant to include any investigative files or documents whatsoever.
5. I'm primarily interested in liaison, general consultations and policy discussions.

I hope this helps, but I'm willing to consider other limitations or re-phrasings on the request. Please let me know if you have any specific suggestions on how to rephrase it, or if there is a specific area that is unclear, too vague or broad. The more specific you are, the better I'll be able to help you help me.

Thanks!

From: US DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement FOIA Office

May 25, 2017 Michael Best MuckRock DEPT MR 33685 411A Highland Ave Somerville, MA 02144-2516 RE:     ICE FOIA Case Number 2017-ICFO-23239 Dear Mr. Best: This acknowledges receipt of your February 21, 2017, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), for request the following records Copies of all written (physical or electronic) communications between the National Guard and Immigration and Customs Enforcement: 1. I'm interested only in communications from 2016 and 2017. 2. I'm willing to limit the request to communications to or from employees with a managerial position. 3. For email searches, I'm willing to limit the scope to the most commonly used domain for emails for both the National Guard and ICE. 4. My request isn't meant to include any investigative files or documents whatsoever. 5. I'm primarily interested in liaison, general consultations and policy discussions. Your request was received in this office on February 21, 2017. Due to the increasing number of FOIA requests received by this office, we may encounter some delay in processing your request. Per Section 5.5(a) of the DHS FOIA regulations, 6 C.F.R. Part 5, ICE processes FOIA requests according to their order of receipt. Although ICE’s goal is to respond within 20 business days of receipt of your request, the FOIA does permit a 10- day extension of this time period. As your request seeks numerous documents that will necessitate a thorough and wide-ranging search, ICE will invoke a 10-day extension for your request, as allowed by Title 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B). If you care to narrow the scope of your request, please contact our office. We will make every effort to comply with your request in a timely manner. Provisions of the FOIA allow us to recover part of the cost of complying with your request.  We shall charge you for records in accordance with the DHS Interim FOIA regulations, as they apply to media requesters.  As a media requester, you will be charged 10 cents per page for duplication; the first 100 pages are free.  We will construe the submission of your request as an agreement to pay up to $25.00. You will be contacted before any further fees are accrued. We have queried the appropriate program offices within ICE for responsive records. If any responsive records are located, they will be reviewed for determination of releasability. Please be assured that one of the processors in our office will respond to your request as expeditiously as possible. We appreciate your patience as we proceed with your request.
Your request has been assigned reference number 2017-ICFO-23239. Please refer to this identifier in any future correspondence. To check the status of an ICE FOIA/PA request, please visit . Please note that to check the status of a request, you must enter the 2017-ICFO-XXXXX tracking number. If you need any further assistance or would like to discuss any aspect of your request, please contact the FOIA office. You may send an e-mail to ice-foia@ice.dhs.gov, call toll free (866) 633-1182, or you may contact our FOIA Public Liaison in the same manner. Additionally, you have a right to right to seek dispute resolution services from the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) which mediates disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies as a non-exclusive alternative to litigation. If you are requesting access to your own records (which is considered a Privacy Act request), you should know that OGIS does not have the authority to handle requests made under the Privacy Act of 1974. You may contact OGIS as follows: Office of Government Information Services, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road-OGIS, College Park, Maryland 20740-6001, e-mail at ogis@nara.gov; telephone at 202-741-5770; toll free at 1-877-684-6448; or facsimile at 202-741-5769. (http://www.dhs.gov/foia-status) http://www.dhs.gov/foia-status
Regards,
ICE FOIA Office
Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Freedom of Information Act Office
500 12th Street, S.W., Stop 5009
Washington, D.C. 20536-5009
Telephone: 1-866-633-1182
Visit our FOIA website at
www.ice.gov/foia

From: US DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement FOIA Office

June 14, 2017
Michael Best
DEPT MR 33685
411A Highland Ave
Somerville, MA 02144-2516
Re: 2017-ICFO-23239
Dear Mr. Best:
This acknowledges receipt of your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Homeland Security Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (DHS-CRCL), dated February 21, 2017, and seeking request the following records Copies of all written (physical or electronic) communications between the National Guard and Immigration and Customs Enforcement:1. I'm interested only in communications from 2016 and 2017.2. I'm willing to limit the request to communications to or from employees with a managerial position.3. For email searches, I'm willing to limit the scope to the most commonly used domain for emails for both the National Guard and ICE.4. My request isn't meant to include any investigative files or documents whatsoever.5. I'm primarily interested in liaison, general consultations and policy discussions. Your request was received in this office on February 21, 2017.
After careful review of your FOIA request, we determined that your request is too broad in scope or did not specifically identify the records which you are seeking. Records must be described in reasonably sufficient detail to enable government employees who are familiar with the subject area to locate records without placing an unreasonable burden upon the agency. For this reason, §5.3(b) of the DHS regulations, 6 C.F.R. Part 5, require that you describe the records you are seeking with as much information as possible to ensure that our search can locate them with a reasonable amount of effort. Whenever possible, a request should include specific information about each record sought, such as the date, title or name, author, recipients, and subject matter of the records, if known, or the DHS component or office you believe created and/or controls the record. The FOIA does not require an agency to create new records, answer questions posed by requesters, or attempt to interpret a request that does not identify specific records.
In Exxon Mobil Corp. v. U.S. Dep't of Interior, the court concludes that plaintiff's requests seeking any and all documents, any documents, or all documents are impermissibly broad and do not comply with FOIA's requirement that the request for records reasonably describe such records. Exxon Mobil Corp. v. U.S. Dep't of Interior, No. 09-6732, 2010 WL 2653353 (E.D. La. June 29, 2010).
Please resubmit your request containing a reasonable description of the records you are seeking. Upon receipt of a perfected request, you will be advised as to the status of your request.
If we do not hear from you within 10 business days from the date of this letter, we will assume you are no longer interested in this FOIA request, and the case will be administratively closed. Please be advised that this action is not a denial of your request and will not preclude you from filing other requests in the future.
Your request has been assigned reference number 2017-ICFO-23239. Please refer to this identifier in any future correspondence. You may contact this office at 202-357-1218. Sincerely,
CRCL FOIA Office

Files