Public Comments Related to Proposed Rule, "Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children"

Muira McCammon filed this request with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the United States of America.
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Muira McCammon

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Re: Freedom of Information Act Request

Dear Freedom of Information Officer:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C. § 552, to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau on my own behalf as a journalist and as an academic researcher.

Requested Records
I request all agency records from September 7, 2018 to August 25, 2019 concerning public comments submitted to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau related to the proposed rule, “Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children.” The agency lists the total comment/submissions received on the document as 100,073 but only lists 98,200. I seek records related to the submissions that the agency chose to “redact, or withhold…such as those containing private or proprietary information, inappropriate language, or duplicate/near duplicate examples of a mass-mail campaign.”

I believe the records that I are located, inter alia, within agency headquarters, in email records, and in third-party platforms used to manage the Agency’s public comments.

The I request include but are not limited to:

1. Records of the public comments submitted to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau, which were NOT posted on Regulations.gov for public viewing.
2. Records related to the decision to redact or withhold certain public comments from the public comment section of Regulations.gov – as it specifically relates to the proposed rule “Apprehension, Processing, Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children.”
a. including:
i. Any correspondence or record of correspondence regarding the redaction or withholding of public comments sent through official government email addresses or messaging services; and
ii. including correspondence sent through private third-party services such as Gmail or Slack; and
iii. Including any messages, notes, or annotations created on a third-party social media management platform.
b. Documentation of the agency’s existing policy regarding the preservation and maintenance of tweets as per the Federal Records Act, and Federal Records Management Bulletin 2014-02 (available at https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/bulletins/2014/2014-02.htm), which stated that “… A complete Federal record must have content, context, and structure along with associated metadata (e.g., author, date of creation). The complete record must be maintained to ensure reliability and authenticity.”
c. Any briefings, reports, memoranda, legal opinions, policy statements, or talking points used or disseminated within the Agency regarding the redaction or withholding of specific or general public comments.

I urge [Agency] to process this request consistent with “a general philosophy of full agency disclosure [under FOIA] unless information is exempted under clearly delineated statutory language,” United States Dep't of Def. v. Fed. Labor Relations Auth., 510 U.S. 487, 494 (1994), and the Justice Department’s policy directing a presumption of disclosure. See Dep’t of Justice Office of Information Policy, President Obama’s FOIA Memorandum and Attorney General Holder’s FOIA Guidelines: Creating a “New Era of Open Government” (2009), available at https://www.justice.gov/oip/blog/foia-post-2009-creating-new-era-open-government).

Request for Public Interest Fee Waiver

I request a waiver of fees because disclosure of the requested records is in the public interest. It “is likely to contribute significantly to the public understanding of the activities or operations of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.” 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii).

First, the records concern the operations or activities of the government. Disclosure of the requested information is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government. Specifically, the requested records will reveal substantial new information about how the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau defines and manages public comments. They will allow the public to see what public messages have been rescinded and the process by which these statements were retracted as compared to the processes employed by other agencies.
For example, my research on the Twitter account of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base revealed to the public that the account had systematically deleted controversial tweets. See Brady Dale, To What Extent is a Tweet a Federal Record?, TECHNICAL.LY BROOKLYN (October 24, 2017), (https://technical.ly/brooklyn/2017/10/24/muira-mccammon-talks-gitmo-radical-networks/).

Finally, the records are not primarily in my own commercial interest. I seek the requested information for newsgathering purposes, and expect to incorporate it into journalistic work product to be disseminated to the public, like those already produced. See Muira Mccammon, Trouble @JTFGTMO, SLATE (April 17, 2018), https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/why-did-the-joint-task-force-of-guantanamo-start-deleting-tweets.html; Muira McCammon, Can They Really Delete That?, SLATE (April 17, 2018), https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/why-did-the-joint-task-force-of-guantanamo-start-deleting-tweets.html.

For the reasons above, I respectfully request that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau grant a public interest fee waiver for this request, and that all fees related to the search, review, and duplication of the requested records be waived. If the fees will not be waived, I agree to pay up to $100 for the processing of this request. If the estimated fees will exceed this limit, please inform me before you begin processing.
Request for “News Media” Fee Status

As a freelance journalist, I am a representative of the news media and do not seek the records requested for commercial use. Therefore, if the agency does not find that my request meets the standards required for a public interest fee waiver, I request that fees associated with the processing of my request be limited to reasonable duplication costs. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II).
I am a representative of the news media because I “gather[] information of potential interest to a segment of the public, use[] [my] editorial skills to turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distribute[] that work to an audience.” Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). I can “demonstrate a solid basis for expecting publication… by a… past publication record.” Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II).

My work has been featured in publications including Slate, VICE, the Massachusetts Review, Kill Screen, and more. I have previously requested documents obtained via FOIA from a range of federal agencies and government officials regarding the deletion of tweets from official Twitter accounts. I used that information to write a series of articles outlining both how individual agencies decided whether or not to delete tweets and more broadly how the government regards Twitter statements. These articles have been published, disseminated, and further reported upon to a broad audience. See Muira Mccammon, Trouble @JTFGTMO, SLATE (April 17, 2018), https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/why-did-the-joint-task-force-of-guantanamo-start-deleting-tweets.html; Muira Mccammon, Can They Really Delete That?, SLATE (April 17, 2018), https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/why-did-the-joint-task-force-of-guantanamo-start-deleting-tweets.html..
Therefore, if this request is not classified as being in the public interest, I respectfully request to be classified as a “news media” requester for purposes of fee assessments.
***
I request that responsive electronic records be provided electronically in their native file format, if possible. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(3)(B). I further request that you provide an estimated date on which you will finish processing this request. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B).
Thank you for your consideration of this request. As per 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i), I expect your determination on whether to comply with this request within twenty (20) days. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at the email address listed below.

Yours,
Muira McCammon

From: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Submitted on Monday, August 26, 2019 - 05:35
Submitted by user: Anonymous
Submitted values are:

Select the DHS component you wish to submit your request to: : U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Title:
First Name: Muira
Middle Initial:
Last Name: McCammon
Suffix:
Email Address: requests@muckrock.com
Country: United States
Address 1: MuckRock News, DEPT MR 79386
Address 2: 411A Highland Ave
City: Somerville
State: Massachusetts
Zip Code: 02144
Telephone Number: 6172991832
Fax Number:
Are you requesting records on yourself? No
If yes, you must check the perjury statement:
By initialing here you are providing your electronic signature.:
Please describe the records you are seeking as clearly and precisely as
possible:
To Whom It May Concern:

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

Re: Freedom of Information Act Request

Dear Freedom of Information Officer:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 U.S.C.
§ 552, to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau on my own behalf as
a journalist and as an academic researcher.

Requested Records
I request all agency records from September 7, 2018 to August 25, 2019
concerning public comments submitted to the Immigration and Customs
Enforcement Bureau related to the proposed rule, “Apprehension, Processing,
Care, and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children.” The
agency lists the total comment/submissions received on the document as
100,073 but only lists 98,200. I seek records related to the submissions that
the agency chose to “redact, or withhold…such as those containing private
or proprietary information, inappropriate language, or duplicate/near
duplicate examples of a mass-mail campaign.”

I believe the records that I are located, inter alia, within agency
headquarters, in email records, and in third-party platforms used to manage
the Agency’s public comments.

The I request include but are not limited to:

1. Records of the public comments submitted to the Immigration and Customs
Enforcement Bureau, which were NOT posted on Regulations.gov for public
viewing.
2. Records related to the decision to redact or withhold certain public
comments from the public comment section of Regulations.gov – as it
specifically relates to the proposed rule “Apprehension, Processing, Care,
and Custody of Alien Minors and Unaccompanied Alien Children.”
a. including:
i. Any correspondence or record of correspondence regarding the redaction or
withholding of public comments sent through official government email
addresses or messaging services; and
ii. including correspondence sent through private third-party services such
as Gmail or Slack; and
iii. Including any messages, notes, or annotations created on a third-party
social media management platform.
b. Documentation of the agency’s existing policy regarding the preservation
and maintenance of tweets as per the Federal Records Act, and Federal Records
Management Bulletin 2014-02 (available at
https://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/bulletins/2014/2014-02.htm), which
stated that “… A complete Federal record must have content, context, and
structure along with associated metadata (e.g., author, date of creation).
The complete record must be maintained to ensure reliability and
authenticity.”
c. Any briefings, reports, memoranda, legal opinions, policy statements, or
talking points used or disseminated within the Agency regarding the redaction
or withholding of specific or general public comments.

I urge [Agency] to process this request consistent with “a general
philosophy of full agency disclosure [under FOIA] unless information is
exempted under clearly delineated statutory language,” United States Dep't
of Def. v. Fed. Labor Relations Auth., 510 U.S. 487, 494 (1994), and the
Justice Department’s policy directing a presumption of disclosure. See
Dep’t of Justice Office of Information Policy, President Obama’s FOIA
Memorandum and Attorney General Holder’s FOIA Guidelines: Creating a “New
Era of Open Government” (2009), available at
https://www.justice.gov/oip/blog/foia-post-2009-creating-new-era-open-government).

Request for Public Interest Fee Waiver

I request a waiver of fees because disclosure of the requested records is in
the public interest. It “is likely to contribute significantly to the
public understanding of the activities or operations of the government and is
not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.” 5 U.S.C. §
552(a)(4)(A)(iii).

First, the records concern the operations or activities of the government.
Disclosure of the requested information is likely to contribute significantly
to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government.
Specifically, the requested records will reveal substantial new information
about how the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau defines and manages
public comments. They will allow the public to see what public messages have
been rescinded and the process by which these statements were retracted as
compared to the processes employed by other agencies.
For example, my research on the Twitter account of the Guantanamo Bay Naval
Base revealed to the public that the account had systematically deleted
controversial tweets. See Brady Dale, To What Extent is a Tweet a Federal
Record?, TECHNICAL.LY BROOKLYN (October 24, 2017),
(https://technical.ly/brooklyn/2017/10/24/muira-mccammon-talks-gitmo-radical-networks/).

Finally, the records are not primarily in my own commercial interest. I seek
the requested information for newsgathering purposes, and expect to
incorporate it into journalistic work product to be disseminated to the
public, like those already produced. See Muira Mccammon, Trouble @JTFGTMO,
SLATE (April 17, 2018),
https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/why-did-the-joint-task-force-of-guantanamo-start-deleting-tweets.html;
Muira McCammon, Can They Really Delete That?, SLATE (April 17, 2018),
https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/why-did-the-joint-task-force-of-guantanamo-start-deleting-tweets.html.

For the reasons above, I respectfully request that the Immigration and
Customs Enforcement Bureau grant a public interest fee waiver for this
request, and that all fees related to the search, review, and duplication of
the requested records be waived. If the fees will not be waived, I agree to
pay up to $100 for the processing of this request. If the estimated fees will
exceed this limit, please inform me before you begin processing.
Request for “News Media” Fee Status

As a freelance journalist, I am a representative of the news media and do not
seek the records requested for commercial use. Therefore, if the agency does
not find that my request meets the standards required for a public interest
fee waiver, I request that fees associated with the processing of my request
be limited to reasonable duplication costs. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II).
I am a representative of the news media because I “gather[] information of
potential interest to a segment of the public, use[] [my] editorial skills to
turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distribute[] that work to an
audience.” Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). I can “demonstrate a solid basis
for expecting publication… by a… past publication record.” Id. §
552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II).

My work has been featured in publications including Slate, VICE, the
Massachusetts Review, Kill Screen, and more. I have previously requested
documents obtained via FOIA from a range of federal agencies and government
officials regarding the deletion of tweets from official Twitter accounts. I
used that information to write a series of articles outlining both how
individual agencies decided whether or not to delete tweets and more broadly
how the government regards Twitter statements. These articles have been
published, disseminated, and further reported upon to a broad audience. See
Muira Mccammon, Trouble @JTFGTMO, SLATE (April 17, 2018),
https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/why-did-the-joint-task-force-of-guantanamo-start-deleting-tweets.html;
Muira Mccammon, Can They Really Delete That?, SLATE (April 17, 2018),
https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/why-did-the-joint-task-force-of-guantanamo-start-deleting-tweets.html..
Therefore, if this request is not classified as being in the public interest,
I respectfully request to be classified as a “news media” requester for
purposes of fee assessments.
***
I request that responsive electronic records be provided electronically in
their native file format, if possible. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(3)(B). I
further request that you provide an estimated date on which you will finish
processing this request. See 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(B).
Thank you for your consideration of this request. As per 5 U.S.C. §
552(a)(6)(A)(i), I expect your determination on whether to comply with this
request within twenty (20) days. If you have any questions or concerns,
please do not hesitate to contact me at the email address listed below.

Yours,
Muira McCammon

Upload documents directly:
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I am willing to pay fees for this request up to the amount of: $: 25
Select from the list below: A representative of the news media seeking
information as part of a news gathering effort and not for commercial use.
I request a waiver of all fees for this request.: I request a waiver of all
fees for this request.
Please provide an explanation for your request for a fee waiver:
I request a waiver of fees because disclosure of the requested records is in
the public interest. It “is likely to contribute significantly to the
public understanding of the activities or operations of the government and is
not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.” 5 U.S.C. §
552(a)(4)(A)(iii).

First, the records concern the operations or activities of the government.
Disclosure of the requested information is likely to contribute significantly
to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government.
Specifically, the requested records will reveal substantial new information
about how the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Bureau defines and manages
public comments. They will allow the public to see what public messages have
been rescinded and the process by which these statements were retracted as
compared to the processes employed by other agencies.
For example, my research on the Twitter account of the Guantanamo Bay Naval
Base revealed to the public that the account had systematically deleted
controversial tweets. See Brady Dale, To What Extent is a Tweet a Federal
Record?, TECHNICAL.LY BROOKLYN (October 24, 2017),
(https://technical.ly/brooklyn/2017/10/24/muira-mccammon-talks-gitmo-radical-networks/).

Finally, the records are not primarily in my own commercial interest. I seek
the requested information for newsgathering purposes, and expect to
incorporate it into journalistic work product to be disseminated to the
public, like those already produced. See Muira Mccammon, Trouble @JTFGTMO,
SLATE (April 17, 2018),
https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/why-did-the-joint-task-force-of-guantanamo-start-deleting-tweets.html;
Muira McCammon, Can They Really Delete That?, SLATE (April 17, 2018),
https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/why-did-the-joint-task-force-of-guantanamo-start-deleting-tweets.html.

For the reasons above, I respectfully request that the Immigration and
Customs Enforcement Bureau grant a public interest fee waiver for this
request, and that all fees related to the search, review, and duplication of
the requested records be waived. If the fees will not be waived, I agree to
pay up to $100 for the processing of this request. If the estimated fees will
exceed this limit, please inform me before you begin processing.
Request for “News Media” Fee Status

As a freelance journalist, I am a representative of the news media and do not
seek the records requested for commercial use. Therefore, if the agency does
not find that my request meets the standards required for a public interest
fee waiver, I request that fees associated with the processing of my request
be limited to reasonable duplication costs. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II).
I am a representative of the news media because I “gather[] information of
potential interest to a segment of the public, use[] [my] editorial skills to
turn the raw materials into a distinct work, and distribute[] that work to an
audience.” Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). I can “demonstrate a solid basis
for expecting publication… by a… past publication record.” Id. §
552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II).

My work has been featured in publications including Slate, VICE, the
Massachusetts Review, Kill Screen, and more. I have previously requested
documents obtained via FOIA from a range of federal agencies and government
officials regarding the deletion of tweets from official Twitter accounts. I
used that information to write a series of articles outlining both how
individual agencies decided whether or not to delete tweets and more broadly
how the government regards Twitter statements. These articles have been
published, disseminated, and further reported upon to a broad audience. See
Muira Mccammon, Trouble @JTFGTMO, SLATE (April 17, 2018),
https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/why-did-the-joint-task-force-of-guantanamo-start-deleting-tweets.html;
Muira Mccammon, Can They Really Delete That?, SLATE (April 17, 2018),
https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/why-did-the-joint-task-force-of-guantanamo-start-deleting-tweets.html..
Therefore, if this request is not classified as being in the public interest,
I respectfully request to be classified as a “news media” requester for
purposes of fee assessments.
Please select and describe in detail if you believe your request warrants
expeditious handling:
Please provide information to support your selection:

From: Muira McCammon

Hi,

It has been one month since the submission of my original FOIA request, and I have no received acknowledgment of its receipt.

I'm therefore contacting you all for an update; I would specify a FOIA request number in this correspondence but none has been given to me. I submitted my request on Monday, August 26, 2019 - 05:35.

Yours,
Muira McCammon

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