October 4th, 2016
Back in June, I filed a FOIA request for information on EB 5 funded projects through your website, https://www.muckrock.com/foi/united-states-of-america-10/eb-5-funded-projects-for-2015-and-2016-26378/. If you read the request details, we asked the US Citizenship and Immigration Services for the following EB 5 information:
Need a national list of all EB 5 funded projects for 2015 and 2016 including the names of the projects, the name of the developers, number of construction jobs created, locations, name of regional centers, and contractor company names that are involved in these projects.
About ten days ago, that Agency complied with our request by sending EB 5 information on a CD-ROM to your office. You then posted it on to your website. The problem with what they provided was they gave us only bare-bones information, not the details they wanted. They only gave us basically the project names, the regional centers that had jurisdiction, and their progress in the approval process. No information was sent on the number of jobs, investors, contractors, or even the addresses of these EB 5 projects. When I inquired from my agency contact, Dawn Horn, why they weren’t even giving us address information, she responded that that information was basically proprietary. It was put in a black hole called an “alien file” and only if the project investor approved, could we have access to that information. Our organization wanted to appeal that decision and get the details we requested in the original FOIA. I imagine your organization would know how to do that. In my twenty years as a researcher, I have NEVER heard of this type of set-up for handling FOIA requests. Since the US Citizenship and Immigration Services office send the CD-ROM and accompanying paperwork to you, we did not get any contact information or instructions on how to appeal this FOIA decision. Please contact me for instructions on how to appeal. My work number is 202-942-2304.
Glenn Daigon Research Analyst LIUNA<hr/>
Mr. Daigon I’m sorry I missed your call. I tried to catch you but it was after hours. I hope I can answer your question in this email. Project names, locations, etc are submitted on the Form 924or 924a. Sometimes it is found on Form 526, or 829. Once the project has been approved then these forms are filed in the investor’s Alien file. We can not retrieve the information from the Investor’s Alien file without consent from the investor. We do not capture this information in electronic format as previously stated.
Dawn D. Horn Dawn.D.Horn@uscis.dhs.gov Government Information Specialist FOIA/PA, Significant Interest Group (SIG) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Immigration Records and Identity Services Directorate National Records Center 150 Space Center Loop Lee’s Summit, MO 64064 Office Phone: 816-350-5500 x5038 FAX: 816-350-5785 Telework Monday, Wednesday, & Friday
Click the red button with the label “Appeal”.