New FOIA Request Filed to Force Agency to Release Immigration Court Operations Information on COVID-19 Pandemic

New FOIA Request Filed to Force Agency to Release Immigration Court Operations Information on COVID-19 Pandemic

August 4, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC— The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the American Immigration Council, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request today to obtain documents related to the Executive Office for Immigration Review’s (EOIR) response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, COVID-19 has caused a national death toll of over 150,000 people, a number that rises every day. Throughout the pandemic, suspected COVID-19 infections have forced numerous immigration courts to frequently close without explanation and without adequate communication to the public. There have been deeply troubling reports about individuals who have passed away from COVID-19, including at least one AILA member, following appearances in immigration court. The public has a right to know the safeguards that EOIR has in place to prevent the unnecessary illness and possible death of numerous individuals still reporting to work in immigration courts throughout the country.

EOIR—which oversees immigration courts—has repeatedly ignored requests for information from immigration organizations, lawmakers, the media, and even its own employees about the most basic immigration court operations. The FOIA request filed today seeks expedited processing for correspondence and documents that are integral to understanding EOIR’s operations during the COVID-19 health crisis.

The FOIA request is online, here.

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For more information, contact:

Maria Frausto, [email protected], 202-507-7526
George Tzamaras, [email protected]202-507-7649
Cristina Velez, [email protected], 347-941-1164

Media Contact

Maria Frausto, Senior Communications Manager 

[email protected]

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