Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act: The ICE Commitment to Openness

To ensure openness and transparency and to better serve those seeking more information about ICE and its operations, the agency centralized processing of all ICE-related Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in a single office.

Note: Alien files (A-Files) are under the control of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Therefore, all requests for A-Files, including requests for any records contained therein, should be directed to USCIS, the National Records Center (NRC), FOIA division, P.O. Box 648010, Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-5570. Please refer any questions about A-Files to 1-800-375-5283. You may visit the USCIS Web site for additional information.

The ICE centralized FOIA office receives, tracks, and processes all FOIA requests except those that relate to sensitive investigative matters.

ICE FOIA/PA Headquarters Office

Main Number: (866) 633-1182
Fax Number: (202) 732-4265

Mail (U.S. Postal System and all overnight mail/FedEX)

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Freedom of Information Act Office
500 12th Street SW, Stop 5009
Washington, D.C. 20536-5009

The Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552), establishes a presumption that records in the possession of agencies and departments of the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government are available to the public. The FOIA sets standards for determining when Government records must be made available and which records may be withheld. The FOIA also gives requesters specific legal rights and provides administrative and judicial remedies when access to records or portions of records is denied. The FOIA statute requires that Federal agencies provide access to and disclosure of information pertaining to the Government's business to the fullest extent possible.

The Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. § 552a, establishes a code of fair information practices that governs the collection, maintenance, use, and dissemination of personally identifiable information about individuals that is maintained in systems of records by federal agencies. A system of records is a group of records under the control of an agency from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifier assigned to the individual. The Privacy Act requires that agencies give the public notice of their systems of records by publication in the Federal Register. The Privacy Act prohibits the disclosure of information from a system of records absent the written consent of the subject individual, unless the disclosure is pursuant to one of twelve statutory exceptions. The Act also provides individuals with a means by which to seek access to and amendment of their records, and sets forth various agency record-keeping requirements.

Congress provided special protection in the FOIA for three narrow categories of law enforcement and national security records. The provisions protecting those records are known as “exclusions.” The first exclusion protects the existence of an ongoing criminal law enforcement investigation when the subject of the investigation is unaware that it is pending and disclosure could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings. The second exclusion is limited to criminal law enforcement agencies and protects the existence of informant records when the informant’s status has not been officially confirmed. The third exclusion is limited to the FBI and protects the existence of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence, or international terrorism records when the existence of such records is classified. Records falling within an exclusion are not subject to the requirements of the FOIA. Thus, when the agency responds to your request it will limit its response to those records that are subject to the FOIA.