Judge Says CBP Can Be Sued For Failure To Respondent to FOIA Requests
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) for mishandling over 23,000 FOIA requests from 2011-2013. It is well known by immigration lawyers that CBP is notariously slow at responding to FOIA requests and often close the requests without explanation.
Apparently, CBP actually just lost 12,000 FOIA requests, which they recieved and then forgot to process. Reports allege that the 12,000 requests were put in a box and forgotten about. Read the report here.
District Court Judge in California dismissed CBP's motion to dismiss and found that the class action lawsuit properly established a case against CBP. See the decision of the Judge here. The Judge is very clear in his decision. He states, "The denial of access to government records in a timely fashion is precisely the harm FOIA is intended to prevent." The Judge further responds to CBP's argument, "This argument is tantamount to a willful misreading of CREW."
It looks like CBP will finally have to start following the law.