Immigration Atty Decries ‘Kafkaesque’ FOIA Fight With USCIS

An immigration attorney accusing U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services of a “Kafkaesque” failure to comply with a document request on Tuesday urged a Louisiana federal court to order the agency to hand over the documents he says he needs to properly represent his client in deportation proceedings.

Michael W. Gahagan, an attorney at The Immigration Law Firm of New Orleans, says in his summary judgment motion that USCIS cannot show that it has conducted a legally adequate search and that it hasn’t improperly withheld agency records. Gahagan had initially requested one document — a receipt notice for USCIS Form I-485 — an application to register permanent residence or adjust status for his client Lloyd Patterson, but instead received a “document dump” of 509 pages of unrelated information, he says.

Gahagan says that amid that dump, he noticed the USCIS failed to hand over 33 responsive pages within 20 days as part of his Freedom of Information Act request. The agency had indicated it referred the documents to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but he said he’s skeptical. Continue>>>