TRAC challenges ICE claim that data off-limits to public

Submitted by LDieringer on Tue, 10/23/2012 - 1:31pm

From Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC):

Syracuse, NY, October 23 — The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) has filed a suit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) challenging a ruling by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that its master repository of investigations and operations information is off-limits to the public.

 
TRAC's request specifically included complete records about "the dates and results" of every internal inspection made about the workings of the hundreds of detention facilities that the government maintains all over the country. The thousands of individuals held in these facilities — some for many months — have not been charged with a crime but are held as a result of alleged administrative violations of the immigration law.
 
TRAC is represented in this action — filed in Washington on Monday — by the Public Citizen Litigation Group.
 
The material sought by TRAC — in a proceeding that began at the administrative level in January 2010 — is stored in the Enforcement Integrated Database (EID), a system that is owned and operated by ICE. The EID records and maintains information related to the investigations and operations of ICE as well as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and that agency's Office of Field Operations.
 
TRAC, a part of Syracuse University, has been using the FOIA for more than two decades in a largely successful effort to obtain comprehensive data about how the government enforces the law, collects taxes and litigates cases — including specific information about the sentences imposed by individual federal judges (see http://trac.syr.edu).