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Long v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (2012)

Topic(s): Government Transparency – FOIA
Court: Select Court

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Description:

This Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit was brought by the co-directors of the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) for its failure to provide requested information from its Enforcement Integrated Database, a database of information about investigations and operations by ICE and the United States Custom and Border Protection’s Office of Border Patrol and Office of Field Operations. In particular, ICE, which maintains the database, refused to provide records from 106 data fields in five interlinked data tables within the Enforcement Integrated Database that contain information about immigration detention facilities, including the names and types of each facility, the ICE supervisory office for each facility, the rates and charges in government contracts for the use of each facility, renovations planned and made, the numbers of male and female adults and children as well as family units in each facility, the detention security levels for each family unit, the numbers of security and support staff at each facility, and the dates and results of inspections of each detention facility. In addition to challenging ICE’s refusal to release the requested records, the lawsuit challenged the adequacy of ICE’s search for these records and its refusal to provide the requested information electronically in its original form and format.

In March 2013, ICE sought a stay of the case in order to process the request. In June 2013, ICE disclosed the requested data in full from one of the data tables, and stated that, during its processing of the request, it discovered that the other four data tables had never been implemented and thus did not contain any live data. The parties subsequently settled attorney’s fees and costs.