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Law 360
August 3, 2021

Judge Says He Is 'Done' With ICE's 'Nonsense' Redactions
By Jennifer Doherty

U.S. District Judge Amit P. Mehta threatened U.S.Immigration and Customs Enforcement with sanctions ahead of a hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon if the agency doesn't "stop wasting everybody's time" with "unbelievable" and "nonsense" redactions in a Freedom of Information Act suit. The judge's words were recorded in a court transcript of last week's hearing published Tuesday by the FOIA Project, a program of Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. TRAC's co-directors filed the present FOIA suit against ICE back in 2014. Seven years later, Judge Mehta accused ICE of attempting to relitigate the case by disregarding his order to produce a clear analysis of which data it could reasonably provide in response to records requests without jeopardizing sensitive law enforcement information. Instead, he said ICE had produced a "nonsense" report accompanied by conclusory declarations, according to the transcript. "It's as if nobody heard a word I had to say last time we were here. I am literally at a loss right now. I am at a loss," the judge said. "I have never, in my judicial career, had an agency respond to a judicial order in the way that ICE has responded to this order in this case

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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