Spat Over Immigration Law Records Sputters

     WASHINGTON (CN) – An immigration-law group has come to the end of the road in its quest for records on complaints against immigration judges, a court found.
     The American Immigration Lawyers Association filed the 2013 federal complaint against the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the U.S. Attorney General in 2013, demanding complaints against immigration judges, records on the resolution of the complaints, an index of final opinions and orders in the cases, and electronic publication of them.
     Though the office produced some 16,000 pages of records associated with 767 complaints, AILA took issue with its redaction of identifying information on the judges – including their names, genders and work locations.
     U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper upheld the redactions of that identifying information, and kept complaint-resolution records at bay, too, but did grant AILA some relief.
     The court’s December 2014 order called for the release of all other redacted or withheld information that the agency found to be nonresponsive to the AILA’s request.
     AILA again complained, however, after the office produced 568 pages in fill and 57 pages in part out of 665 pages of records previously deemed nonresponsive.
     Clamoring for the information redacted from approximately 64 pages of remaining documents, AILA emphasized that Cooper’s December order said “all information.”
     Cooper waved off the argument Tuesday, saying AILA misunderstood him.
     “The court never meant to suggest that EOIR could not redact any material as ‘non-responsive,'” the new decision states (emphasis in original). “Indeed, as this court has previously noted, ‘the practice of redacting non-responsive materials from documents produced in response to FOIA requests has been approved by courts in this circuit.'”
     Finding that the agency has sufficiently complied with his earlier order, Cooper denied AILA’s motion to enforce.

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