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NBC News
March 30, 2017

Syracuse University Researchers Prepping Lawsuit Over ICE Detainee Information
By Nikita Biryukov

Researchers at Syracuse University are gearing up to take Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to court now that the agency is no longer releasing information it had routinely disclosed under public records laws for the last 13 years. Susan Long, co-director of Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, said on Thursday that the group was preparing a court challenge to compel ICE to release information associated with "detainer" forms the agency uses to hold immigrants who have committed or are accused of crimes. "They have cut way back on the details they provided on detainers basically the info that would allow an examination of the agency's performance, and whether it is achieving its stated goals," Long told NBC News Thursday. "We are preparing to file a lawsuit unless ICE reverses itself on our administrative appeal and turns the data over." In the past, the Syracuse clearinghouse had received information from ICE about individuals' arrests, detainment locations, detainment dates and deportation dates, should an immigrant be deported, Long said. The agency also previously released criminal histories, including charges, convictions, sentences and corresponding dates. But in a Jan. 10 response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking detainer information covering October 2014 to November 2016, fields of information were missing. Now, the group only receives information as to the nationality, gender and citizenship of a given immigrant, as well as the date a detainer was prepared, the law enforcement agency it was issued to and local body's response. ICE, Long said, claimed the previous 13 years of disclosures weren't mandatory.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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