EAH Immigration Blog

Court Victory in FOIA Delays Class Action

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, on December 17, granted summary judgment in favor of two nationwide classes suing the DHS, USCIS, and ICE for failing to timely produce the class members’ immigration files (A-Files). The court found that the agencies’ practice of failing to produce the immigration case files within the deadlines set by Congress under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a systemic problem and requires a comprehensive, permanent remedy. The court ordered the agencies involved (USCIS and ICE) to clear their backlogs by responding to the more than 40,000 cases outstanding within 60 days; to comply with the statutory timeline for responding to case file requests moving forward; and to submit quarterly reports to the court and class counsel to verify compliance with the statutory timelines.

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