|(23 Oct 2012)
On October 22, 2012 the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) filed suit in D.C. District Court under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) challenging a ruling by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that its master repository of investigations and operations information is off-limits to the public.
TRAC had specifically requested complete records about the dates and results of every internal inspection made about the workings of the hundreds of detention facilities that the government maintains all over the country. The thousands of individuals held in these facilities -- some for many months -- have not been charged with a crime but are held as a result of alleged administrative violations of the immigration law. Because the ICE detention facilities are so large and scattered, and many of the detainees have no legal representation, there is little effective oversight into the fairness and effectiveness of their operation.
The material sought by TRAC is stored in the ICE-operated Enforcement Integrated Database (EID), which records and maintains information related to the investigations and operations of ICE as well as Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and that agency's Office of Field Operations. Despite this, ICE has stated that its office "does not have the means to extract the data or any other aspect of [TRAC's] request."
TRAC is represented in this action by the Public Citizen Litigation Group.
For more on this matter, including the complaint document and legal exhibits, see:
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