Contact: Marguerite Telford
Washington, D.C. (July 17, 2018) –The Center for Immigration Studies announced today that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Center is seeking information about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications after having failed to receive a response from USCIS.
Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s director of policy, said, “We are seeking basic information about the hundreds of thousands of people who applied for and received this immigration benefit, because very little is known about them. This will enable policymakers and the public to assess the impact of this controversial program on American communities. Congress should not be making legislation on the basis of advocacy group press releases and social media memes; it needs accurate information, ideally from the federal government’s own records. While the immigration agencies have greatly improved recently, it should not be so difficult to obtain basic government statistics that help inform the policy debate.”
In October 2017, the Center submitted a FOIA request to USCIS asking for information pertaining to responses to specific questions on the DACA application. USCIS acknowledged receipt of the FOIA request on October 16, 2017 and legally had 20 days to respond with document production or its intent to withhold documents. Having received no response by the November 9, 2017 deadline, the Center filed suit.