JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Thoughts about INS requests #general

james gross <larklane@...>

Someone just sent this to me and I feel the info is of general interest.
Q: I have been on a "waiting" list for almost 1 yr. I wait and wait and
wait. I have only file #s assigned to me re: info. >from INS.
When I write, no response. But the letters are not returned to
me, so I would think they arrived at INS. I even have the name of
an indiv. to whom to send corresp. Suggestions?
If you have a INS #, just leave it alone til you get something. I've
about 17 INS requests and I usually send all my supporting garbage
after the initial # is assigned to me. Then I call up and make sure they
didn't feed everything to the dog. It is important to me so I spend the
.10 a minute so I can speak to someone there. I have found the average
turn around time to be under a year.
I will say that if and once they find your relatives papers, I
get hung up on "did they find everything or should I appeal". >from what
I understand, appealing is sort of a waste of time as per a conversation
I had with one of the INS supervisors. Usually you are appealing a no
record found reply. In my question to the supervisor, I asked," Does the
INS ever find records but decide to withhold them >from the requestor
because of any reason? " I was told that if the INS finds it, you get
period. It is my feeling that they strive for customer service while
fulfilling your request under the Freedom of Information act. It is
contrary to their
goals and objectives to have a million grandmothers screaming for
records that they have found. The problem lies when papers/documents
are misfiled, lost, or unreadable. The INS can't simply wiggle their
and create the stupid document. On the positive side, If you've done an
INS request several years ago, I understand the INS has recently
improved the quality of the image copying with newer copying & microfilm
machines. So, try a request for a clearer copy.

James H. Gross
Cherry Hill, N.J.
e-mail: LARKLANE@...
Gross-Steinberg Family Tree

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