Document Your Immigration and Criminal History File a Request under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Posted by Ally Bolour | May 06, 2016 | 0 Comments

Clearly, immigration reform is not going to happen this year.  We need a new Congress to work with a new president in order to get it done.

Lets think positive for a second and assume that the November elections will result in a Democratic president and a real and positive shakeup in Congress.  Such a combination will certainly breathe new life in the discussions around a comprehensive immigration reform (CIR).  If you are one of the 12 million undocumented individuals in the U.S., it behooves you to be ready early in 2017 and move quickly on the path to legalization.

In the event of a CIR - you will need to document your entire immigration history.  This means you'll need to know the exact date you entered the country, the number of times you attempted such an entry, if and when you were ever apprehended by border patrol (CBP), if you were ever removed from the U.S., your complete criminal history if any - and whether you or anyone on our behalf has ever filed either an employment or family based petition on your behalf. 

If you dont have all of this information, and most people dont, there is a way to obtain these records directly from the government with little or no risk to your safety.  Records requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) should have most if not all of this information. 

It typically takes a few months for the government to respond and provide copies of whats available.  Different agencies may have bits and pieces of your information.  Therefore FOIA requests should be filed with USCIS, ICE, and CBP.  Additionally, if there are any criminal issues, no matter how trivial, records request from the FBI and California Department of Justice  should also be submitted.  If there are any visa denials, a FOIA request to the Department of State (DOS) is in order.

  Since it takes a few months for the different agencies to respond, the time to act and file these FOIA requests is now.  Once you have your entire immigration and criminal history, then you may plan correctly and accurately on whether legalization is possible and choose the best path forward.  If you'd like to file for a FOIA - please call our Los Angeles office to schedule an appointment. 323-857-0034. 

About the Author

Ally Bolour

Founding and Managing Partner - Bolour / Carl Immigration Group Phone: 323-857-0034 Email: Email Me Areas of Practice Immigration Law – Business and Family Immigration Asylum and Refugee Matters Litigation Percentage 40% of Practice Devoted to Litigation Bar Admissions California,...


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Let Us Earn Your Trust

Bolour / Carl Immigration Group is a full service immigration law firm. We have been representing immigrants, nonimmigrants, families, businesses, employees, and the like, from around the globe for over 25 years. With over 25 years of experience exclusively in the field of Immigration Law, we have garnered the knowledge to handle the most complex cases and adequately represent a wide range of clientele. The size of our firm ensures that all of our clients receive hands on service from their attorneys and a direct line of communication with our attorneys.Learn More