The ACLU of Maine, the Refugee and Human Rights Clinic (“RHRC”) at the University of Maine School of Law, and the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (“ILAP”) have filed a Freedom of Information (“FOIA”) lawsuit against the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), seeking to compel the agency’s Boston Sub-Office and Newark Asylum Office to release information about how they assess asylum requests.

The lawsuit comes after immigration advocates at the RHRC and ILAP witnessed a marked decrease in asylum approvals from the USCIS Boston Sub-Office, especially for asylum seekers from central African countries. According to the initial FOIA request, since 2016, the Boston Sub-Office has increasingly been referring asylum seekers to lengthy immigration court proceedings, delaying work permits and family reunification.

Date filed

November 12, 2020


United States District Court for the District of Maine