|(20 Aug 2021)
TRAC has seen significant growth in its FOIA Brief Bank by building relationships with FOIA attorneys across the country and ensuring these attorneys have a trusted outlet for their work. Since June of 2021, TRAC's summer legal interns have uploaded 984 documents to the FOIA Project's Brief Bank, contributed by 19 litigators across 27 different cases.
The Brief Bank's flood of insightful new documents include substantive briefs, motions, and testimony related to FOIA cases that allow FOIA requesters and FOIA litigators to better understand the FOIA process and prepare for litigation when necessary. These documents are also valuable for journalists, researchers, and members of the public who are concerned about government transparency and accountability.
After reviewing the substance of each of the 27 cases, the FOIA Project identified 22 cases that focus specifically on public records related to immigration enforcement. Of the documents contributed this summer, about 800 are from cases regarding matters of immigration. The 22 immigration-related FOIA lawsuits added to the Brief Bank include a total of 11 distinct federal agencies. Each lawsuit may contain more than one agency named as a defendant, so the total number of instances of named defendants exceeds the total number of cases. The most frequently named defendant, in 11 out of 22 cases, was Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency primarily responsible for interior immigration enforcement, immigrant detention, and the deportation process. Several cases updated in the Brief Bank were not directly related to immigration, but concerned questions of national security and other significant transparency matters.
The FOIA Project and the summer intern team would like to extend our appreciation to generous members of the FOIA community who contributed documents to updated cases this summer. The FOIA Project is a passion project for TRAC that relies heavily on collaboration and support from the entire FOIA community. If you would like to contribute documents to the Brief Bank, please email us at FOIABriefs@foiaproject.org or create a free account on FOIAProject.org and upload the documents to cases yourself.
The full report, including a detailed list of FOIA cases that have been recently updated with contributed documents, is available here:
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The FOIA Project is self-supporting and depends on foundation grants and individual contributions. The TRAC Gift Fund has been set up through the Newhouse School at Syracuse University to support this effort: