FOIA Litigation

NILA’s transparency litigation focuses on lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking records that federal agencies have failed to disclose and have been shrouded from public view. NILA’s transparency litigation seeking records on behalf of an individual clients are not posted below.

NILA’s Transparency Litigation Docket

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Innovation Law Lab v. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (D. Or.) – Lawsuit seeking the Credible Fear Procedures Manual and Reasonable Fear Procedures Manual used by asylum officers to screen individuals facing deportation who fear persecution or torture. 
Co-Counsel: Innovation Law Lab
Status: The complaint was filed on February 21, 2024. 
Documents: 
+ Complaint

Photo Credit: Stephanie Jayne

VECINA & NILA v. Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (D. Mass.) – Lawsuit seeking records the immediate release and proactive disclosure of a full and complete copy of the Unaccompanied Child Manual of Procedures (UC MAP). 
Co-Counsel: Araujo & Fisher LLC
Status: The complaint was filed on November 1, 2023. On December 11, 2023, the Administration for Children and Families released an unredacted copy of all 6 sections of the manual. Whether the agency will proactively disclose the manual going forward remains an outstanding issue in the case.
Documents: 
+ Complaint
+ Section 1: Placement in ORR Care Provider Facilities
+ Section 2: Safe and Timely Release from ORR Care
+ Section 3: Services
+ Section 4: Preventing, Detecting, and Responding to Sexual Abuse and Harassment
+ Section 5: Program Management
+ Section 6: Resources and Services Available After Release from ORR Care

Photo Credit: Stephanie Jayne

NILA and Church World Services v. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (D. Mass.) – Lawsuit seeking records related to USCIS’ policies related to the adjudication and processing of Form I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions—petitions submitted by refugees and asylees to obtain permission for their immediate relatives to join them in the United States. 
Co-Counsel: Marzouk Law LLC
Status: The complaint was filed on March 28, 2023.
Documents: 
+ Complaint
+ USCIS Records – July 2023
+ USCIS Records – Sept. 2023

Photo Credit: Stephanie Jayne

NILA and Church World Services v. US Department of State (D. Mass.) – Lawsuit seeking records related to the State Department’s policies related to the adjudication and processing of Form I-730 Refugee/Asylee Relative Petitions—petitions submitted by refugees and asylees to obtain permission for their immediate relatives to join them in the United States. 
Co-Counsel: Marzouk Law LLC
Status: The complaint was filed on October 13, 2022.
Documents: 
+ Complaint
+ DOS Records – Jan. 2023
+ DOS Records – Feb. 2023
+ DOS Records – Mar. 2023
+ DOS Records – Apr. 2023
+ DOS Records – May 2023
+ DOS Records – June 2023
+ DOS Records – July 2023
+ DOS Records – Aug. 2023
+ DOS Records – Sept. 2023
+ DOS Records – Oct. 2023
+ DOS Records – Nov. 2023 – Jan. 2024

CLOSED CASES 

Photo Credit: Stephanie Jayne

National Immigration Litigation Alliance v. ICE (D. Mass.) – Lawsuit seeking records related to ICE’s policies and efforts to remove withholding or CAT grantees to countries other than the country of removal designated by an immigration judge. 
Co-Counsel: Marzouk Law LLC
Status: The complaint was filed on August 17, 2022. ICE subsequently produced the requested records and a Vaughn index. The parties jointly stipulated to dismissal in September 2023.
Documents: 
+ Complaint
+ ICE Records – Vaughn Index 
+ ICE Records

Records relating to Matter of Y-L-, A-G-, R-S-R-, 23 I. & N. Dec. 270 (A.G. 2002) (establishing effectively irrebuttable presumption that drug trafficking aggravated felony convictions are particularly serious crimes) – This request sought records from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) regarding: (1) the number of cases in which the Y-L- “presumption” was/was not overcome; (2) copies of all decisions overcoming the “presumption,” and (3) all memos, correspondence, guidance, and training matters related to Y-L-
Co-Requestors: Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services.
Status: The request was submitted on March 24, 2023. On May 3, 2023, EOIR responded, indicating that it could not search for the first two categories of records sought “because EOIR does not track this data” but produced records related to the third category (see below). The records from pages 30-34 of the May 3, 2023 and the July 5, 2023 production are from a manual which, according to an EOIR Supervising Attorney, has no cover, but “the file name is Asylum Withholding and CAT.”
Documents: 
+ FOIA Request
+ EOIR Production Email – May 3, 2023
+ EOIR Records – May 3, 2023
+ EOIR Records – July 5, 2023

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Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative v. DHS (N.D.N.Y) – Lawsuit seeking records related to the Criminal History Program (CHIP), Criminal History Information Sharing (CHIS), and the Biometric Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP). 
Co-Counsel: Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative
Status: The complaint was filed in November 2021. The FBI, ICE, and DOS subsequently produced records and Vaughn indices. 
Documents: 
Complaint
+ FBI Records
+ ICE Records
+ DOS Records

Photo Credit: Stephanie Jayne

National Immigration Litigation Alliance v. CBP (D. Mass.) – Lawsuit seeking records relating to CBP’s treatment and expulsions/deportations of pregnant women, mothers who recently gave birth in United States, and their children, including newborn U.S. citizen children.
Co-Counsel: Proskauer Rose LLP, Al Otro Lado, Haitian Bridge Alliance
Status: The complaint was filed on July 1, 2021. CBP produced records in August, October, and November 2021.
Documents:
+ Complaint
+ Select CBP Productions

Photo Credit: Alison Wilkinson

Safe Passage Project v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (S.D.N.Y.) – Lawsuit seeking records related to CBP Form 93 (Unaccompanied Child Screening Addendum), a primary tool that CBP and USCIS use to document experiences with human trafficking and fear of persecution and torture for unaccompanied immigrant children.
Co-Counsel: The Law Office of Derrick J. Hensley, PLLC and Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic
Status: The complaint was filed on April 15, 2021. USCIS produced relevant records in May 2021. CBP produced relevant records in June and July 2021.
Documents:
+ Complaint
+ CBP Form 93
+ USCIS Productions

Photo Credit: Erica Miranda

Pangea Legal Services v. USCIS (N.D. Cal.) – Lawsuit seeking records related to adjudication of Refugee/Asylee Petitions (Form I-730).
Co-Counsel: Pangea Legal Services 
Status: The complaint was filed on June 1, 2020 and USCIS produced the relevant records on January 19, 2021.
Documents:
+ Complaint
+ I-730 Guidance & Updates for the Regions 

National Immigration Litigation Alliance, Inc.
Email: info@immigrationlitigation.org
Tel: (617) 819-4649

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