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Oye! Times
January 29, 2014

Immigration Matters: Tracking TRAC: Paeans and Pans for the Syracuse University Clearinghouse


There is much to commend about Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC). Despite candidate Barack Obama's promise that his presidency would be the most transparent in American history, in fact the Obama-Biden administration has been a model of opacity, rivaling old Soviet Central Committee paranoia in its obsession with obscuring from public view executive branch information and data that have been published routinely for decades even during the dark old days of the Bush-Cheney years that our current president and vice president have so frequently disparaged. This has certainly been the case with immigration statistics across the board, from benefit-granting to law enforcement activities. Under President Obama, statistics reflecting approvals and denials in key immigration benefits have become nigh unto impossible to obtain; likewise with immigration enforcement activities. For this reason, the American public, and not a few think tanks and academicians, owe a debt of gratitude to TRAC for shining a light on otherwise unavailable information on the activities of our government in a wide range of agencies, including the federal courts, FBI, IRS, DEA, ATF and, not least, those Homeland Security agencies that administer and enforce our immigration and citizenship laws. In pursuit of its aim of extracting key statistical data from an increasingly obstreperous executive branch it shows a zeal and a willingness to effectively use the Freedom of Information Act and other legal avenues that individuals and small organizations sometimes lack the will, resources, or patience to apply.


Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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