Bid for Records Under FOIA’s Crime-Fraud Exception Fails

A crime fraud exception to the federal open records law does not apply to emails sought by immigration lawyers who say government lawyers repeatedly deceived the courts about the ability of removed immigrants to return to the United States once they win a second chance in immigration court, a judge has ruled.

Southern District Judge Jed Rakoff (See Profile) denied the summary judgment motion of a coalition led by the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild for 27 documents under the Freedom of Information Act, (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. §552.

The ruling came in an extended dispute over whether government lawyers have misled courts on the chance that indigent deportees could actually afford to return to the United States for a hearing on remand before an immigration judge. Continue>>>