S1 Overview of Voluntary Work Program Records

Andrew Free filed this request with the Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America .
Tracking #

2019-HQFO-00729, 2019-HQAP-00299, 2019-HQFO-01292

2019-HQFO-00729, 2019-HQAP-00299

2019-HQFO-00729

Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Appeal

Communications

From: Andrew Free

To Whom It May Concern:

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

1. All materials provided to DHS by ICE in response to the July 10, 2018 ERO RE-Tasking by S1 "Overview of the Voluntary Work Program", which was delivered to the Secretary's office on or about July 12, 2018.
2. All materials provided to DHS by ICE in response to the June 4, 2018 Request for Information by S1 "Overview of the Voluntary Work Program," which was responded to on or about June 12, 2018.
3. All DHS "Front Office" records regarding the Voluntary Work Program created on or after February 14, 2018.
4. All records of communications between The GEO Group, Inc. and the office of the Secretary of Homeland Security occurring on or after February 14, 2018, regarding ICE's Voluntary Work Program or lawsuits involving the Voluntary Work Program.
5. All records of communication between the office of former ICE Director Thomas Homan and DHS Headquarters, including the Secretary of Homeland Security's office, regarding ICE's Voluntary Work Program or litigation pertaining thereto from January 1, 2017 to the present.
6. All records of communications from DHS to the Department of Labor or the Department of Justice regarding ICE's Voluntary Work Program.
7. All records of any meetings, calls, or emails regarding any subject other than the Voluntary Work Program between any representative of The GEO Group, Inc. and the Secretary of Homeland Security's office from February 14, 2018 to the present.

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,

Andrew Free

From: Department of Homeland Security

Good Morning,
Attached is our acknowledgment of your DHS FOIA request.  If you need to contact this office again concerning your request, please provide the DHS reference number. This will enable us to quickly retrieve the information you are seeking and reduce our response time. This office can be reached at 866-431-0486.
Regards,
DHS Privacy Office
Disclosure & FOIA Program
STOP 0655
Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20528-0655
Telephone:  1-866-431-0486 or 202-343-1743
Fax:  202-343-4011
Visit our FOIA website (http://www.dhs.gov/foia)

From: Andrew Free

I hereby appeal the agency's decision that Parts 3-7 of this request are impermissibly broad under the FOIA. Indeed, these requests are compliant with both the FOIA and DHS's regulations because they specifically identify offices, subjects of records, and time periods enabling the agency to task a search reasonably calculated to produce responsive documents.

To the extent 6 C.F.R. 5.3 requires specificity greater than the FOIA, this regulation is ultra vires of the statute and contrary to law.

Please remand to the agency to task and process Items 3-7.

Many thanks,

R. Andrew Free

From: Department of Homeland Security

Good Morning,
Attached is our acknowledgment of your DHS FOIA appeal.  If you need to contact this office again concerning your appeal, please provide the DHS reference number. This will enable us to quickly retrieve the information you are seeking and reduce our response time. This office can be reached at 866-431-0486.
Regards,
DHS Privacy Office
Disclosure & FOIA Program
STOP 0655
Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20528-0655
Telephone:  1-866-431-0486 or 202-343-1743
Fax:  202-343-4011
Visit our FOIA website (http://www.dhs.gov/foia)

From: Department of Homeland Security

Good Afternoon, Attached is our final response to your request.  If you need to contact this office again concerning your request, please provide the DHS reference number. This will enable us to quickly retrieve the information you are seeking and reduce our response time. This office can be reached at 866-431-0486. Regards, DHS Privacy Office
Disclosure & FOIA Program
STOP 0655
Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20528-0655
Telephone:  1-866-431-0486 or 202-343-1743
Fax:  202-343-4011
Visit our FOIA website

From: Andrew Free

I hereby appeal the agency's legally and factually baseless denial of my request. The agency has failed to conduct an adequate search and thus improperly withheld agency records.

DHS's FOIA regulations are ultra vires, and the agency's reading of those regulations to improperly find that my request is too broad in scope violates the plain language of the Act.

From: Department of Homeland Security

Good Afternoon, This email is in response to aletter received by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Privacy Office onJuly 3, 2019 regarding your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request2019-HQFO-00729. Our office first received your letter appealingrequest 2019-HQFO-00729 on June 17, 2019 and acknowledged your appeal on June 17, 2019. Attachedis the acknowledgement letter sent on June 2017, 2019 for your reference. If you need tocontact this office again concerning your appeal, please provide the DHSreference number .
Regards,
DHS Privacy Office
Disclosure & FOIA Program
STOP 0655
Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20528-0655
Telephone:  1-866-431-0486 or 202-343-1743
Fax:  202-343-4011
Visit our FOIA website (http://www.dhs.gov/foia)

From: Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Free:

Please find attached the FOIA Appeal Letter issued by Judge Metry's office in the above matter.

Thank you,
Lauren Meus
Hearing Docket Clerk
U.S Coast Guard

From: Department of Homeland Security

Good Afternoon,
Attached is our acknowledgment of your remanded appeal.  If you need to contact this office again concerning your request, please provide the DHS reference number. This will enable us to quickly retrieve the information you are seeking and reduce our response time. This office can be reached at 866-431-0486.
Regards,
DHS Privacy Office
Disclosure & FOIA Program
STOP 0655
Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20528-0655
Telephone:  1-866-431-0486 or 202-343-1743
Fax:  202-343-4011
Visit our FOIA website (http://www.dhs.gov/foia)

From: Andrew Free

Thank you for this acknowledgement. Please release the responded documents within the timeframe provided by the Freedom of Information Act without further delay to avoid judicial enforcement of this request.

From: Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Free:

Please find attached the FINAL FOIA Letter issued by Judge Metry's office in the above matter.

Thank you,

Lauren Meus
Hearing Docket Clerk
U.S. Coast Guard

From: Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Free:

As requested. The Final Decision was sent on October 8, 2019.

Thank you,

Lauren Meus
Hearing Docket Clerk
U.S Coast Guard

From: Andrew Free

This is to notify Judge Metry that the agency has not complied with its obligations under the FOIA to timely search and release responsive records, and to appeal that failure to do so. This matter was remanded on September 16. The agency sent a letter to Judge Metry saying it would conduct a search on September 30. Judge Metry dismissed the appeal on October 8. It is now November 7 - more than 30 working days after Judge Metry's remand. We have received no responsive documents or further communications from the agency.

This inaction makes a mockery of the Freedom of Information Act and interferes with the public's right to know what its government is up to. It also flouts the decision of the administrative appellate review tribunal. I therefore respectfully request that Judge Metry re-open this appeal and order the agency to timely produce properly redacted, responsive records to this request, which I originally filed nearly six months ago.

From: Department of Homeland Security

Good Morning, Attached is our final response to your request.  If you need to contact this office again concerning your request, please provide the DHS reference number. This will enable us to quickly retrieve the information you are seeking and reduce our response time. This office can be reached at 866-431-0486. Regards, DHS Privacy Office
Disclosure & FOIA Program
STOP 0655
Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20528-0655
Telephone:  1-866-431-0486 or 202-343-1743
Fax:  202-343-4011
Visit our FOIA website

From: Andrew Free

I hereby appeal this manifestly unlawful denial of records. These records exist. The attached documents prove they exist. The requestor has adequately described them. The agency's refusal to search for and produce them after remand following appeal constitutes bad faith and should prompt referral to the Office of Special Counsel.

From: Department of Homeland Security

Hello,
Attached is our acknowledgment of your DHS Appeal request.  If you need to contact this office again concerning your request, please provide the DHS reference number. This will enable us to quickly retrieve the information you are seeking and reduce our response time. This office can be reached at 866-431-0486.
Regards,
DHS Privacy Office
Disclosure & FOIA Program
STOP 0655
Department of Homeland Security
245 Murray Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20528-0655
Telephone:  1-866-431-0486 or 202-343-1743
Fax:  202-343-4011
Visit our FOIA website (http://www.dhs.gov/foia)

From: Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Free:

Please find attached the FOIA Appeal Decision issued by Judge Metry's office in the above matter.

Thank you,

Lauren Meus
Hearing Docket Clerk
U.S. Coast Guard

From: Andrew Free

Good morning:

Can you please confirm that Judge Metry's office saw the screenshots of these taskings that I filed with the appeal dated January 9, 2020.

When a federal reviews this denial, I don't want to hear anything from the agency about not having access to the visual, documentary proof that these records (a) exist and (b) are readily available upon tasking an adequate search.

Please confirm today that these images, which I sent January 9, were part of the administrative appellate records.

Many thanks,

Andrew

From: Department of Homeland Security

Mr. Free,

As with all my decisions, I reviewed the entire file before issuing a decision on your appeal. Please note my decision is final agency action in this matter. If you have any further questions or concerns, or disagree with my decision, you may file an action in federal district court, as explained in the last paragraph of my letter.

Kind regards,

Tommy B. Cantrell, J.D., LL.M.
Attorney Advisor to
Administrative Law Judge
United States Coast Guard
Department of Homeland Security
601 25th Street, Suite 508A
Galveston, Texas 77550
480-249-6471

From: Andrew Free

Hi,

Thanks so much for your help with this request! I really appreciate it.

We’ll do just that.

Sincerely,
Andrew Free

From: Andrew Free

I hereby appeal CRCL's denial of this request. The fact that CRCL does not normally maintain these records does not adequately dispose of the question whether they received them from ICE. An adequate search would have tasked the systems of records and custodians from whom CRCL obtains medical information about Irwin, as well as the normal reporting channels IHSC and CRCL maintain for open facility investigation.

Please expeditiously process this appeal and remand to the agency for an adequate search.

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