Immigration Law: Nowhere to Turn - Illegal Aliens Cannot Use the Freedom of Information Act as a Discovery Tool to Fight Unfair Removal Hearings
18 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2009 Last revised: 10 Aug 2011
Date Written: May 1, 2008
This Article challenges the authority of the Attorney General and the DHS Secretary to withhold information from an alien after a FOIA request under Exemption (b)(5),7 to use that same withheld information to impeach the alien's testimony during an individual hearing on the merits, and to use that as grounds for the Immigration Court to deny an applicant's request for asylum.
This Article takes the position that the USCIS needs to change its unfair practice to avoid the harsh and pervasive injustice that aliens face in removal proceedings. Aliens in removal proceedings have due process rights, including the right to receive notice and to have a meaningful opportunity to be heard in a full and fair hearing. To address such injustice and unfairness, this Article critically examines the extent to which the Attorney General or the DHS Secretary exceeds his or her authority in withholding the interview notes, and urges Congress to enact fair and sensible legislation requiring the Government to disclose to aliens any information given under oath so that aliens can fully prepare for their removal hearings on the merits.
Keywords: Asylum, FOIA, removal hearings, aliens
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