Levin Submits FOIA to DHS for Information on Chaldean-American Deportees

Jun 28, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Sander Levin (MI-09) today submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The FOIA request seeks key information on the Iraqi Americans from the metro-Detroit area arrested and slated for deportation, and unclassified communication relating to any agreements on the repatriation of Iraqis residing in the U.S. 

“ICE has arrested 114 mostly Christian Iraqi immigrants without any notice, claiming they represent a security risk without sharing any evidence,” Levin said. These individuals have lived many years in the US, if not many decades, and many have spouses and children who are American citizens. We need a full accounting of whom these individuals are, and what steps might be taken to provide for their safety if deported to a place representing for them immediate danger.”

Levin first requested information regarding those arrested on a June 12 call with the Detroit office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and followed up that call with multiple emails and a formal letter on June 16. On June 14, he and several other Michigan Members of Congress sent a letter requesting the agreement between Iraq and the U.S. for deportees.

A PDF of the FOIA request is available here and is below:

Dear Mr. Holzer:

Pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, I hereby request that your office produce, within 20 business days, the following records:

1.            All records of unclassified communications and materials relating to the detention, arrest, and removal of Iraqi nationals in the metro Detroit area, starting on or about February 1st, 2017, through June 28, 2017, to include the following information for each person detained, arrested, or subjected to removal:

1.            Name

2.            Case number 

3.            Date of final order of deportation

4.            Age

5.            Gender

6.            Age when arrived in the U.S.

7.            Occupation

8.            Marital Status

9.            Number and age of children

10.          Legal status of spouse and children

11.          Crime(s) that form(s)the basis for removal, date and sentence

12.          If probation or parole, any violation

13.          Status of check-ins with Immigration and Customs Enforcement

14.          Extent of family in Iraq

15.          When last visited Iraq

2.            All records of unclassified communications and materials relating to any agreements on the repatriation of Iraqi nationals residing in the United States to the Republic of Iraq, including emails, official statements, documents, announcements, and memoranda. 

I request a fee waiver pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(A)(iii), because disclosure of requested information is in the public interest.  I submit this request as a Member of Congress representing the 9th Congressional District of Michigan, where many of my constituents are family members of the Iraqi nationals detained, arrested, or subjected to removal by the Department of Homeland Security. The requested information is in my constituents’ interest and will contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations and activities of the government. 

If you make a determination that any information requested is exempt from disclosure entirely or partially, I ask that you provide the reason for such exclusion, and provide all information requested in a form that does not violate privacy or any other basis for exemption.

Please contact me by phone or email if you require any additional information.  I can be best reached at 202 225 4961. 

Sincerely,

Sander Levin

Member of Congress

###