AILA Public Statements, Press Releases, Advocacy & Media

AILA Launches FOIA Toolbox: A Practical Guide to Obtaining Records for Immigration Cases

6/6/22 AILA Doc. No. 22060640.

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has a new resource for practitioners seeking to gain access to government records: AILA's FOIA Toolbox: A Practical Guide to Obtaining Records for Immigration Cases through FOIA and Other Document Requests.

Our member attorneys continually collect documents and information from government agencies to support clients’ requests for immigration benefits or relief from removal. Finding and accessing those documents isn’t always easy but you need to ensure you and your client are aware of what the government believes the case or situation is all about.

AILA's FOIA Toolbox can be the guide through the maze. It focuses on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and how to make requests to the key components of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), and also covers all manner of requests for documents or information necessary for an immigration case, held by any federal or state agency.

Among the Toolbox's documents you will find explanatory articles and samples on topics such as:

  • Where to direct your FOIA requests for particular types of documents
  • Documents properly excluded from a FOIA request
  • How to make FOIA requests of USCIS, ICE, CBP, and OBIM
  • How to get the records you need for a client in removal proceedings
  • Obtaining records from government agencies other than DHS
  • Getting necessary records from overseas for clients who are consular processing
  • Seeking arrest and other criminal justice system records
  • Litigating insufficient responses to your FOIA request