Re: I Waited 18 Months For ONE LOUSY PAGE (Not Even A Full Page)?! What Is This Thing Anyway? #records

Jx. Gx.


In your post you did not mention whether or not you sent your request as a Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act (FOIA/PA) because that should have made a difference in the way your request was handled.  If you sent it as a FOIA/PA request there are certain key words that you must use in your letter for it to be treated as a FOIA. Further, you have to be specific in the types of documents that you want. In this last regard, you were very specific in asking for her visa file.  In the letter that you received from that USCIS bureaucrat, I get the impression from the second and third paragraphs in his letter that he has more documents, but isn't willing to release them. While FOIA does not guarantee the full release of all documents in the federal government's possession, he knows well enough they can redact certain information or deny release entirely of certain documents based on any one or combination of the nine exemptions allowed under the FOIA program. But he has chosen not to take this extra step, mostly likely because it requires additional work on his part.

I suggest that you take a second look at your initial letter to USCIS and check to make sure it follows the exact wording of an approved FOIA letter. A lot of different federal agencies have sample FOIA letters on their webpages.  You might also try   That site lists the 9 FOIA exemptions. If your initial letter covered all the bases, then you might want to consider taking the advice of another Jewishgenner who suggested writing to your House Representative or Senator and request their assistance in obtaining the information you need.

Jeffrey Gee

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