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New York Law Journal
September 28, 2018

Researchers Aim to Unlock Data on Detained Immigrants as FOIA Lawsuit Advances
By Dan M. Clark

Academic researchers who have invoked the Freedom of Information Act to pry open data detailing the detention of immigrants by law enforcement have cleared a hurdle in a New York federal court. U.S. District Judge Brenda Sannes of the Northern District of New York denied motions for summary judgment this week in the lawsuit—filed by researchers at Syracuse University—which alleges U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has withheld data from researchers on immigrant detention requests since the beginning of the Trump administration. The lawsuit was brought against the federal agency by Susan Long and David Burnham, co-directors of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. The research center tracks spending and enforcement of federal laws, including immigration policy. The parties are now scheduled for a telephone conference in four weeks at which point they will decide the best way forward in the lawsuit. Long and Burnham are represented in the case by Terence Keegan of Miller Korzenik Sommers Rayman in Manhattan. Long said they are hoping to push the lawsuit into the discovery phase so they can use any information garnered to reach an agreement with the government. They have not ruled out going to trial.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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