A popular resource for using FOIA to access immigration records across the federal government has been updated with the publication of an updated Immigration Ombuds Observer on our website. This document supersedes our 2018 Immigration Observer, now archived. The webpage serves as a helpful tool for requesters who are seeking information regarding immigration records, which are created and maintained by at least eight different agencies and offices across the government.
Immigration records are the most requested type of material through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). However, navigating the process to determine which federal agency holds and maintains what type of immigration record can be overwhelming. Our updated Ombuds Observer outlines each of the most common agencies/departments and provides information in three categories: types of records; where to submit a FOIA request; and what to include with your request.
In addition, we have included basic information about each agency/department, what immigration records they maintain or hold, and what you can expect when submitting a FOIA request. The agencies included with this updated Observer are:
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- U.S. Department of State (State Department)
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
- U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
For those who frequently request immigration materials, we hope you will bookmark this Ombuds Observer.