Note: this is the official communication received from ICE spokesperson Gillian M. Christensen in response to TRAC's press release "Agency's Immigration Enforcement Claims Not Supported By Own Data."
On the Record:
"Similar to other reports recently released by TRAC, this report is astoundingly inaccurate and based on conclusions gathered from an incomplete set of data. TRAC's latest baseless allegation, regarding ICE's 2005 reporting of total removals, is based on incomplete data and without any merit.
Furthermore, ICE has been in regular contact with TRAC over the past many months and has worked diligently to respond to their requests for extremely large amounts of data and related information. Throughout this process, TRAC has repeatedly demonstrated their unwillingness to engage with agency officials and statisticians in serious discussions about the agency's data tracking protocols and systems. This lack of intellectual integrity is disappointing. Nevertheless, ICE is committed to continuing to provide data that confirms the accuracy of the agency's removal numbers. We stand by our record."
In their report, TRAC used a data set that represents individuals removed — regardless of the fiscal year that removal occurred — that can be linked to an apprehension that occurred in 2005. TRAC then used this data set to identify what it claims are the total number of ICE apprehensions in FY 2005, which is inaccurate. That data set is a subset of FY 2005 apprehensions. This is merely one example of TRAC's flawed analysis.
Contrary to TRAC's claim, ICE reached out to OGIS for assistance in mediating discussions with TRAC. ICE continues to work with TRAC, OGIS, and the DHS FOIA Office on TRAC's FOIA request.
In fact, ICE has responded to 40 subsequent FOIA requests from TRAC since TRAC filed the FOIA request in May 2010.
The ICE FOIA Office is currently reviewing millions of lines of data that have been located in response to TRAC's request. The ICE FOIA Office plans to make additional releases of information as it completes the review of the material.
During FY11, ICE responded to 16,488 FOIA requests.