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IRLI Sues ICE for Access to Documents on Obama-Era Worksite Enforcement Procedures


Protecting the rule of law and the integrity of our immigration system

WASHINGTON - The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), on behalf of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, yesterday filed suit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), seeking records related to procedures for worksite enforcement activities conducted during the Obama administration. IRLI attorneys filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia as ICE has failed to produce the requested records pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

ICE has operated under a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor regarding law enforcement activities at worksites. The information sought in the lawsuit seeks records related to the MOU, including: records on the number of instances when ICE thwarted attempts by other parties to manipulate its worksite enforcement activities for illicit or improper purposes; records on the number of tips and leads the agency has received concerning worksite enforcement activities motivated by labor dispute issues; records on the number of visas issued to, recommended for, or sought on behalf of witnesses covered in the MOU; and records of communications between upper-level management at ICE, the Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board.

“The Memorandum of Understanding may have been vulnerable to exploitation on a number of levels, including the ability of illegal aliens to hide behind union membership to avoid deportation,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “This suit digs deep into the dynamics of how the Obama administration further set the tone for thwarting federal immigration authorities. There needs to be sunlight on those records so the public can know if our immigration and labor laws in these matters have been being manipulated for nefarious purposes.”

The case is FAIR v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, No. 18-638 (U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia).

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • blonergan@irli.org


IRLI is a supporting organization of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

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