Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Re: Request for records concerning defendant's component's system which implements defendant's responsibilities under the Immigration and Nationality Act Disposition: Granting plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment; denying defendant's motion for summary judgment
- Exemption 5: The court holds that "Exemption 5 is inapplicable." The court finds that "[defendant] has not met its burden to show that the withheld documents were not official policies or that they were subject to continuing debate." The court notes that "[defendant] consistently characterizes these documents as policy, criteria, or templates used by lower level employees." The court also relates that its "in camera review of a portion of the relevant documents reveals that the withheld documents are not predecisional in nature."
- Exemption 7(E): The Court "holds that Exemption 7(E) is inapplicable." The court finds that "[d]efendant cannot show that [its component] has an enforcement mandate." The court notes that "[defendant's component] refers any possible fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with the permanent labor certification program to the DOJ, DHS, or other government entity, as appropriate, for investigation." Additionally, "the Court finds that the withheld documents at issue were not 'compiled for law enforcement purposes.'"
- Litigation Considerations, Adequacy of Search: The court holds that "the scope of [defendant's] search was adequate." The court finds that "[p]laintiff did not request that a particular record system be searched and . . . [defendant] has asserted that its offices' various shared drives are the . . . most likely places to locate most, if not all, of the responsive documents to Plaintiff's request." Additionally, the court holds that "[defendant] applied adequate search methodology in its search of the National Office records." Specifically, the court finds that "[d]uring the search of the National Office, the majority of [defendant's] employees used defined search terms that are readily ascertainable by the Court" and "were reasonably calculated to uncover all relevant documents."
- Procedural Considerations: The court holds that "[defendant] reasonably interpreted Plaintiff's FOIA request and properly withheld only unresponsive documents."
Adequacy of Search
Updated August 6, 2014