Richard Rocha (ICE Spox) Emails

Michael Edelman filed this request with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Due Nov. 5, 2018
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Michael Edelman


To Whom It May Concern:

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

CLINIC seeks the release of the records outlined below. With respect to the form of production, CLINIC request that responsive electronic records be provided in their native file format. Alternatively, CLINIC requests that records be provided electronically in a text-searchable, static-image format (PDF), in the best image quality in the agency’s possession, and that the records be provided in separate, Bates-stamped files.

Records to or from ICE Spokesman, Richard Rocha, (dated June 1, 2018 to present) that contain any of the following terms: "bed space", "transfer", "overcrowding", "detain", "detention", "retaliate", "retaliation." This includes e-mail messages with any of Richard Rocha's email addresses in the "From," "To," "CC," or "BCC" address lines.

In addition to the records requested above, CLINIC also requests records describing the processing of this request, including records sufficient to identify search terms used and locations and custodians searched and any tracking sheets used to track the processing of this request. If you use FOIA questionnaires or certifications completed by individual custodians or components to determine whether they possess responsive materials or to describe how they conducted searches, CLINIC also requests any such records prepared in connection with the processing of this request.

To clarify my request, CLINIC seeks all responsive records regardless of format, medium, or physical characteristics. In conducting the search, please understand the terms “record,” “document,” and “information” in their broadest sense, to include any written, typed, recorded, graphic, printed, or audio material of any kind. We seek records of any kind, including electronic records, audiotapes, videotapes, and photographs, as well as letters, emails, facsimiles, telephone messages, voice mail messages and transcripts, notes, or minutes of any meetings, telephone conversations or discussions. CLINIC's request includes any attachments to these records, including e-mail attachments. No category of material should be omitted from search, collection, and production.

Note that CLINIC does not seek any personally identifiable information about any third party including and petitioner, applicant, and or detainee. If responsive records and or information contain personally identifiable information, please redact such information and produce such redacted records in response to this Request.

Please search all records regarding agency business. You may not exclude searches of files or emails in the personal custody of your officials, such as personal email accounts. Records of official business conducted using unofficial systems or stored outside of official files is subject to the Federal Records Act and FOIA. See Competitive Enter. Inst. v. Office of Sci. & Tech. Policy, 827 F.3d 145, 149–50 (D.C. Cir. 2016); cf. Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Kerry, 844 F.3d 952, 955–56 (D.C. Cir. 2016).

It is not adequate to rely on policies and procedures that require officials to move such information to official systems within a certain period of time; I exercise and specifically preserve and assert my right to records contained in those files even if material has not yet been moved to official systems or if officials have, through negligence or willfulness, failed to meet their obligations. See Competitive Enter. Inst. v. Office of Sci. & Tech. Policy, No. 14-cv-765, slip op. at 8 (D.D.C. Dec. 12, 2016).

In addition, please note that in conducting a “reasonable search” as required by law, you must employ the most up-to-date technologies and tools available, in addition to searches by individual custodians likely to have responsive information. Recent technology may have rendered DHS’s prior FOIA practices unreasonable. In light of the government-wide requirements to manage information electronically by the end of 2016, it is no longer reasonable to rely exclusively on custodian-driven searches. Presidential Memorandum—Managing Government Records, 76 Fed. Reg. 75,423 (Nov. 28, 2011), https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2011/11/28/presidentialmemorandum-managing-government-records; Office of Mgmt. & Budget, Exec. Office of the President, Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments & Independent Agencies, “Managing Government Records Directive,” M-12-18 (Aug. 24, 2012), https://www.archives.gov/files/records-mgmt/m-12-18.pdf.

If it is your position that any portion of the requested records is exempt from disclosure, I request that you provide an index of those documents as required under Vaughn v. Rosen, 484 F.2d 820 (D.C. Cir. 1973), cert. denied, 415 U.S. 977 (1974). The index must describe each document claimed as exempt with sufficient specificity “to permit a reasoned judgment as to whether the material is actually exempt under FOIA.” Founding Church of Scientology v. Bell, 603 F.2d 945, 949 (D.C. Cir. 1979). Moreover, the index “must describe each document or portion thereof withheld, and for each withholding it must discuss the consequences of disclosing the sought-after information.” King v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 830 F.2d 210, 223–24 (D.C. Cir. 1987). Further, “the withholding agency must supply ‘a relatively detailed justification, specifically identifying the reasons why a particular exemption is relevant and correlating those claims with the particular part of a withheld document to which they apply.’” Id. at 224 (citing Mead Data Central, Inc. v. U.S. Dep’t of the Air Force, 566 F.2d 242, 251 (D.C. Cir. 1977)).

In the event some portions of the requested records are properly exempt from disclosure, please disclose any reasonably segregable non-exempt portions of the requested records. If it is your position that a record contains non-exempt segments, but that those non-exempt segments are so dispersed throughout the document as to make segregation impossible, please state what portion of the document is non-exempt, and how the material is dispersed throughout the document. Mead Data Central, 566 F.2d at 261. Claims of nonsegregability must be made with the same degree of detail as required for claims of exemptions in a Vaughn index. If a request is denied in whole, please state specifically that it is not reasonable to segregate portions of the record for release.

Expedited Processing Request

CLINIC requests expedited processing of the above Request pursuant to applicable law and regulations. There is a “compelling need” for these records, as defined in the statute and regulations, because the information requested is urgently needed by an organization primarily engaged in disseminating information in order to inform the public about actual or alleged government activity. In addition, the records and information sought relate to a “breaking news story of general public interest.”

A. CLINIC is an organization primarily engaged in disseminating information in order to inform the public about actual or alleged government activity.

CLINIC is “primarily engaged in disseminating information” within the meaning of the statute and regulations. Obtaining information about government activity, analyzing that information, and widely publishing and disseminating that information to the press and public are critical and substantial components of CLINIC’s work and are among its primary activities. For example:

o Since 1997, CLINIC’s programs have helped more than 100,000 people apply for citizenship; helped approximately 12,000 refugees and asylees apply for green cards; and have provided immigrants with over 15,000 hours of English language instruction.

o CLINIC represents more than 170 dioceses and religious communities that bring foreign-born priests, sisters, seminarians and religious laypersons to the United States each year.

o CLINIC trained more than 7,000 immigration practitioners in 2012.

o CLINIC’s Attorney-of-the-Day Help Line fields at least 20 calls per day from member agencies on the most effective strategy for representing clients. CLINIC’s attorneys staff the hotline which covers topics such as family-based immigration, naturalization, temporary employment authorization, and relief from removal.

o CLINIC’s pro bono attorneys have filed briefs and represented more than 500 immigrants before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
CLINIC plans to analyze, publish, and disseminate to the public the information gathered through this Request. The records and information requested are not sought for commercial use and the requestors plan to disseminate the information disclosed as a result of this Request to the public at no cost.

B. The records sought are urgently needed to inform the public about actual or alleged government activity.

The records and information sought by this Request are urgently needed to inform the public about actual or alleged government activity; moreover, the records sought relate to a breaking news story of general public interest. As noted above, there is enormous public interest and debate about DHS’s detention program and its recent failures to protect the dignity and rights of those it chooses to detain. Release of the records and information sought by the Request will aid the American public in drawing its own conclusions about the legitimacy and legality of ICE’s immigration detention program. Moreover, the records and information sought relate to a “matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government’s integrity that affect public confidence.” Given the foregoing, expedited processing should be granted for this Request.

Application for Waiver or Limitation of Fees

CLINIC asks that all fees associated with this Request be waived because disclosure of the requested records and information will contribute significantly to public understanding of the governmental activities identified above and because the disclosure is not in CLINIC’s commercial interest.

A. Disclosure of the records and information is in the public interest.

Disclosure of the requested information will contribute significantly to public understanding of government operations and activities related to the means by which the government detains certain immigrants. CLINIC has the capacity and intent to disseminate widely the requested information to the public. CLINIC provides technical support to the members of its network on a broad range of immigration law topics. The network includes approximately 1,200 attorneys and accredited representatives and assists some 600,000 clients, parishioners, and community members with immigration matters annually. CLINIC publishes books, produces a monthly newsletter, and provides in-person training, online courses, and webinars on a variety of immigration law issues including those affecting detained individuals. In addition, CLINIC’s materials are disseminated to the public through its website, www.cliniclegal.org, which for the past couple of months has received approximately 100,000 unique views per month.
Information obtained through this FOIA request will contribute to CLINIC’s public education materials on the immigration system and will assist CLINIC in providing technical assistance to nonprofit legal services providers and pro bono attorneys who represent individuals in immigration detention. Finally, CLINIC has regular contact with national print and news media and may share information gleaned from this Request with interested parties.

B. Disclosure of the information is not in CLINIC’s commercial interest.

CLINIC is a not-for-profit organization. CLINIC seeks the requested information and records for the purpose of educating the public and not for the purpose of commercial gain. CLINIC will also use the information obtained to inform our organization’s technical assistance and training programs, which provide free consultation and resources to immigrants and their attorneys across the United States.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this request. Please reply to this request within the timeframe provided by law. If portions of the requested records and or information are claimed to be exempt from disclosure under FOIA, please indicate the specific reasons for the alleged exemptions, the number of pages withheld, and the dates of the records withheld, producing the remaining non-exempt portions.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Michael Joseph Edelman
Federal Litigation Attorney
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
8757 Georgia Avenue, Suite 850
Silver Spring, MD 20910
P: 301-565-4800
F: 301-565-4824
medelman@cliniclegal.org
www.cliniclegal.org

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 Edelman

From: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Hello,

There is no record of your request in our system. Pleas re-submit the request. Once your case is input into the system, you will receive an acknowledgement and be assigned a case number you may use to track the status.

Thank you
ICE FOIA

Files