FOIA powered migration story

FOIA stands for the Freedom of Information Act (1967), and this act gives the public the right to disclose public information controlled by the U.S. government. FOIA helps the public such as journalists to request public information from the government that could support their stories and inform the reader.

Looking through different public stories that are FOIA powered stories, and these public stories were disclosed by the U.S. government. The story I chose to discuss is titled As Central American Gangs Increasingly Target Children More Minors are Fleeing the U.S.

This story is talking about student gang members in central El Salvador. A gang has sexually assaulted a 12 year old girl and killed her cousin. The article goes on to talk about how the girl’s parents had to migrate to the U.S. and wanted to have their kids join them mainly for safety reasons. However, the family didn’t end up having the kids come to the U.S. because at the time the U.S. government paid $130 million to increase security on the U.S. Mexican borders.

As an American, I want to have protected borders; however, reading migrants’ stories and knowing the reasons behind their immigration make me have mixed feelings especially if that could help a child’s life.



What is FOIA?

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

It regulates and sets requirements for the disclosure of certain public records.“Public body” means a state officer, employee, agency, department, division, bureau, board, commission, council, authority, or other body in the executive branch of state government but does not include the governor or lieutenant governor, the executive office of the governor or lieutenant governor, or employees thereof.


Enforcement as to Record Denial

A person may appeal a final decision to deny a request to the head of the public body. The head of the public body has 10 business days to respond to the appeal. It can go to court. That can take up to 180 days.

Penalties for violation of the Act

If the trial court finds that the public body has arbitrarily and capriciously violated the FOIA by refusal or delay in disclosing or providing copies of a public record, they will have to compensatory the damages and could be fined up to 1000.00.

I found a great example of FOIA about social media.The article I found is Social media surveillance I feel the internet and social media will be the new area of laws and FOIA will have a lot of work to do once we set internet laws. I feel we need internet laws.

Interesting FOIA request

FOIA, or the Freedom of Information Act, was introduced in 1967 and allowed the public of the United States the right to request access to records from any federal agency. Mind you that is only request, under certain circumstances the government is allowed to deny those requests to information.

One recent FOIA request interested me because of the way it was handled. A woman by the name of Emma Best requested information on Operation Mockingbird which according to the CIA was an effort to wire tap the telephones of certain reporters, however due to various leaks it is believed that Operation Mockingbird was actually an attempt to control certain news media for the purpose of propaganda.

What was interesting about this request is that because the Mockingbird files were under the holdings of the presidential library before the presidential records act (PRA) they are actually not subject to FOIA, but rather the mandatory declassification review (MDR). As it turns out the files had already been released to the public so a FOIA request was not necessary anyway, the files can be found at

FOIA, e-cycling in Michigan


When looking on Muck Rock, I found a request that was submitted and is completed. The request is asking for documents from 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 from electronic manufacturers to see if they are following the obligations of e-cycling, in Michigan. Some manufacturers include Dell, Samsung, LG, Sony, and Microsoft.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) responded and forwarded the request to the Waste Management and Radiological Protection Division of DEQ. A fee of $99.75 needed to be paid to satisfy the request.

After the FOIA request was satisfied, DEQ sent in six separate emails containing the documents that were requested. There were some manufacturers that didn’t have the documents because they weren’t registered.

This non-profit news site makes requesting government documents easy, if needed.


The Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) has been in act since 1967. This act allows the public to request access in to what goes on behind closed doors within the government.

This can also go into play with local institutions. The most recent example is the Larry Nassar case at Michigan State University.

Back in February, MSU was caught withholding information about players and coaches about other potential sex scandal allegations on it’s campus. Thanks to ESPN’s Outside the Lines legal department, that information was finally obtained.

This information would not have been obtainable without FIOA.