Melting ICE: FOIA & Trump's Deportation Force

A project to collaborate FOIA requests related to U.S. Immigration & Custom Enforcement (ICE), with a particular focus on Enforcement and Removal Operations (ICE-ERO).

What is this project?

Melting ICE is a Muckrock project created by Pablo Manriquez, 12 April 2018, with the aim of increasing the direct insight into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. The department within ICE of causing particular concern in immigrant communities is Enforcement and Removal Operations, or ERO.

Why is this project important?

The public has a right to more direct insight into ICE. As of this morning, our nation’s most relentless journalists on the immigration beat have been made to throw up their hands and concede to ICE’s coordinated stonewalling of it’s federal workforce from uncomfortable questions from the press, especially when it comes to alleged abuses. Just this morning, ProPublica Illinois noted from it’s own exclusive reporting on ICE in Pennsylvania:

“Getting direct insight into the Philadelphia ICE office itself has been difficult. The agency denied reporters’ requests to interview those who have run the office during the Trump administration. The National ICE Council, declined to talk. Individual deportation officers, reached on their personal phones, declined too.”

What does this project hope to achieve?

This Muckrock project aims first to provide the public with as much direct insight as possible into ICE-ERO. The controversial unit within ICE charged with the physical apprehension and removal of immigrants from the United States. Initially my hope is this project will prove helpful to media covering ICE, such as the reporters getting stonewalled in the field, in three key ways:

  • Creating a living, public documents database of FOIA work on ICE.

  • Growing as a collective pursuing FOIA journalism focused on ICE.

  • Connecting skilled transparency advocates with the rest of us, that we may learn and improve.

Please email for an invite to a private forum we created for this project, or with any other questions that come up regarding this project.


Pablo Manriquez

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