NG-ICE Comms February 2017 (National Guard Bureau/JA-FOIA)

Emma Best filed this request with the National Guard Bureau/JA-FOIA of the United States of America.
Tracking #


Due March 24, 2017
Est. Completion None
Awaiting Response


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.


Michael Best


FOIA Requester,

Regarding your below FOIA request, NGB FOIA case #J-17-0040, is there a specific timeframe or topic of discussion to search for. Also, are you looking for
emails and if so, "From" and "To" whom and what offices within the National Guard would you like us to search? A reasonable specificity would help all in responding to your request.

Please also note that the above FOIA case number includes your separate FOIA request, dated February 18, 2017, for records concerning possible use of the National Guard in immigration round-ups.

Thank you,

Office of Information And Privacy
111 South George Mason Drive, AHS2
Arlington, VA 22204
(Toll Free) 844-573-2939

From: Michael Best

Ah, sorry - that was _much_ more vague than I meant it to be! I apologize.

To clarify, I'm interested in communications for the month of February, 2017. As for who, would it be possible to limit the search to the communications of executives and senior managers (however your agency defines them)? In other words, to the director and deputy level positions, along with the managers for major components/sections/departments/offices ?

I'm sorry about the broadness of the original request. I really appreciate you reaching out to clarify the scope since I forgot to. I hope you'll reach out again if there's anything more I can do to clarify things, or if you have any ideas about how to modify/interpret/execute the scope I proposed.


Good afternoon –

This is the same request as J-17-0040 (which I just responded to with a status update).


Jennifer Nikolaisen, GS-14, CIPP/G
Chief, Office of Information and Privacy


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