Records Related to the Death of Melvin Ariel Calero Mendoza

Jordan Lassiter filed this request with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) of the United States of America.
Est. Completion None
Awaiting Response


From: Jordan Lassiter

To Whom It May Concern:

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

Related to death of Melvin Ariel Calero Mendoza, as outlined in the ICE document titled "Detainee Death Review (DDR) Report: Melvin Ariel Calero Mendoza" (document available at

As context, recent reports indicate that there have been a significant number of deaths in ICE custody in recent years, and the public has a strong interest in understanding the circumstances surrounding these deaths and any legal action that may have resulted.

In support of this FOIA request, I would like to cite the following court case:

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 666 F. Supp. 2d 41 (D.D.C. 2009)
In this case, the court ruled that agencies must provide a "reasonably detailed" explanation for any redactions or withholdings of records requested under FOIA, and that such redactions or withholdings may not be made "categorically or through conclusory assertions."

Please note that any unjustified withholding, redaction, or deletion of records requested in this FOIA request will be subject to legal action to compel disclosure. Additionally, any complaint filed with the appropriate court or administrative body will seek reimbursement of legal costs and fees.

Specifically, I am requesting any and all records, including but not limited to:

Any additional reports, investigations, or documents related to the death of Melvin Ariel Calero Mendoza not included in the aforementioned DDR report;
Any correspondence, including but not limited to emails, letters, or memoranda, related to the death of Melvin Ariel Calero Mendoza;
Any medical records or reports related to the care and treatment provided to Melvin Ariel Calero Mendoza while in ICE custody;
Any policies, procedures, or guidelines related to the care and treatment of detainees in ICE custody, specifically those related to medical care;
Any video footage or photographs related to the death of Melvin Ariel Calero Mendoza, including footage from surveillance cameras or body-worn cameras worn by ICE personnel;
A list of all ICE employees who interacted with Melvin Ariel Calero Mendoza from the time of his detention until his passing, including but not limited to officers, medical personnel, and administrative staff.
To help narrow the scope of this request, I am specifically interested in records from the time of Melvin Ariel Calero Mendoza's detention until his passing.

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.


Jordan Lassiter


04/26/2023Jordan LassiterDEPT MR 144599Boston, Massachusetts 02115RE: ICE FOIA Case Number 2023-ICFO-22511 Dear Requester:This acknowledges receipt of your 4/15/2023, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), for records pertaining to Melvin Ariel Calero Mendoza from the time of his detention until his death. Your request was received in this office on 4/15/2023.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’re able to narrow the scope of your request please contact our office. Narrowing the scope may speed up the search process. 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.If you have any questions, please contact FOIA Public Liaison, Fernando Pineiro Jr. at the address above or (866) 633-1182. Additionally, you have a 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; telephone at 202-741-5770; toll free at 1-877-684-6448; or facsimile at 202-741-5769.Your request has been assigned reference number 2023-ICFO-22511. Please use this number in future correspondence. Sincerely,ICE FOIA OfficeImmigration and Customs EnforcementFreedom of Information Act Office500 12th Street, S.W., Stop 5009Washington, D.C. 20536-5009
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