Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
November 1, 2019

DOJ Accused Of Wiping Nearly 1 Million Immigration Records
By Suzanne Monyak

The U.S. Department of Justice agency that oversees immigration courts has quietly deleted almost a million immigration court records and refused to correct its data, a Syracuse University research center alleged in a Thursday report. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse accused the DOJ's Executive Office for Immigration Review of "silently but systematically deleting records" in data sets provided to the research center through the Freedom of Information Act, without disclosing that cases had been withheld. The report also said that "garbled" and "inconsistent" data from the EOIR on immigration court cases showed the agency had failed to conduct standard verification measures to check for accuracy. When TRAC flagged the problems, the agency stood its ground, claiming that FOIA does not require federal agencies to "certify the accuracy of data contained in responsive documents," the report said. "It is deeply troubling that rather than working cooperatively with TRAC to clear up the reasons for these unexplained disappearances, the agency has decided to dig in its heels and insist the public is not entitled to have answers to why records are missing from the data EOIR releases to the public," TRAC's report said.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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