Darnbrough v. U.S. Dep't of State, No. 11-1862 (EGS), 2013 WL 619773 (D.D.C. Feb. 20, 2013) (Sullivan, J.)

Date: 
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Re: Request for records relating to renunciation of plaintiff's United States citizenship Disposition: Denying defendant's motion for summary judgment
  • Exemption 3: Defendant withheld one document under Section 222(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1202(f), "which requires the withholding of information contained in the records of the Department of State pertaining to the issuance or refusal of visas or permits to enter the United States." The withheld document relates to "plaintiff's application for a NEXUS card to enter the United States." The defendant "concedes that the document is not being withheld on the basis that a NEXUS card is a visa or permit to enter the United States," but argues "that because [the document] was retrieved from a database used to determine visa eligibility, it is therefore exempt from disclosure in its entirety under Section 1202(f)." The court rejects the defendant's argument that "the purpose for which the information was retained, rather than its content, is what determines whether the information is exempt." The court finds that "Section 1202(f) cannot be extended to cover materials unrelated to a visa issuance or denial simply because those documents are contained in a database among other documents that may pertain to visa issuances and denials." The court concludes that the withheld document "is not exempt from disclosure under 8 U.S.C. §1202(f) because it is not a document that pertains to the issuance or refusal of a visa."
Topic: 
District Court
Exemption 3
Updated August 6, 2014