ADC Files New FOIA With DHS Concerning the “October Plan”

February 9, 2006, Washington, DC- The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has retained the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis as counsel to address the use of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS) in immigration enforcement efforts.
On November 4, 2004, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), issued a press release entitled “ICE Threat Disruption Effort Results in More than 230 Arrests.”  As a result, and due to community concerns, the ADC requested a nationality breakdown of those arrested by ICE.  In an earlier statement on September 30, 2004 ICE explained that it utilized three databases (namely NSEERS, SEVIS, and US VISIT) to reprioritize leads resulting in the above-referenced arrests.
ADC was, and continues to be, concerned that the Arab, South Asian, and Muslim populations were being disproportionately impacted because of the use of the NSEERS database in this enforcement effort termed by the media as the “October Plan.”  On December 14, 2004, ADC filed a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) in order to gain access to the nationality of those arrested and determine the percentage of Arabs, South Asians, and Muslims who were affected. ADC did not request the names or individual information of any of the persons who had been arrested.  Furthermore, ADC did not ask for any information regarding DHS employees or any law enforcement technique, sources, methods, or procedures used by DHS or other agencies regarding the arrests.
ADC’s intent with the request was to assure the Arab-American, South Asian, and Muslim communities, along with the rest of our nation, that ICE was not conducting a “round-up” or “sweep” in any community, and that it was acting consistently with the pledge made on September 30, 2004 not to partake in racial, national origin or religious profiling.
Unfortunately, ICE and DHS denied ADC’s request to release the nationality breakdown of those arrested during the “October Plan.”  On March 3, 2005, ADC filed an administrative appeal with the Privacy Office at DHS.  This appeal was also denied.
Represented by Kirkland & Ellis attorneys Tefft W. Smith, Amanda J. Wong, and John C. O’Quinn, ADC has filed a new FOIA request concerning this issue.  In today’s request, ADC asks DHS to provide information on the race, ethnicity, religion, and gender of those arrested during the “October Plan.”  Represented by Kirkland & Ellis, ADC will continue to address this matter until the concerns raised by ADC on behalf of the Arab-American community are addressed in a constructive fashion and to the best interest of all involved parties.
Please click here to read ADC’s FOIA request of December 14, 2004.
Please click here to read ADC’s FOIA appeal of March 3, 2005.
Please click here to read ADC’s FOIA request of February 8, 2006.

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