Step-By-Step CBP FOIA Request
Before You Start:
- To submit this request, you need to complete two steps: first, create an account (or use the community organization account) and second, fill out the request.
- If you are setting up your own account, please begin at Step 1. If you are using an existing community organization account, please begin at Step 3.
- If you need to set up your own account, you will need stable access to the internet for approximately 45 minutes, if you are using a community organization account, you will need stable access to the internet for approximately 30 minutes.
If you are a community organization you can either set up an account for each individual or set up an organizational account to use for each person. It may take several months for CBP to respond to your request for records, which is completely normal given current agency processing times!
- Click here to create an account. Enter the email you regularly check, select a password, and then enter your phone number, first and last name, your street address, your zip code, city, state, and country of residence (USA.) If you are working with a community organization to help you get your documents, provide the organization email and phone number but still use your name, and address.
- Click Create Account.
- Once you click Create Account, it will bring you to a new page. On this new page, click on CREATE REQUEST to begin your FOIA Request
- In the Agency dropdown, select Department of Homeland Security
- In the Component Dropdown select U.S. Customs & Border Protection. Then click Next.
- On the following page, select FOIA Request in the Request Type dropdown. In the box, indicate that you want all records regarding your arrest by a CBP agent including: Form I-220A, I-213 if it exists, credible fear interview notes and decision. Try to enter an exact date and location or at least a month/year when you were arrested by CBP. When you are done, click Next.
- If you have any documents from when you were arrested at the border, upload them here. It is fine if you do not have anything. Click Next.
- Most people are not charged a fee to get their own documents. However, you can also request a fee waiver by checking the box, Request Fee Waiver, circled below. In the box, write in the reasons you cannot afford a fee. Try and be specific such as writing I only earn $200 a month and my rent is $150 a month.
- Usually, these records take several months to arrive. You can ask for them to come faster if you are in one of two situations: Expedite Requested. It will generally take several months for the government to send you your records. You can only request the records faster if you meet one of the following criteria:
- First, you can request records faster if you need them to prevent a threat to your life or safety.
- This means that you are about to be deported and you face harm if deported.
- Second, you can request records faster if you need them to prevent an abuse by the court (known as a due process violation.)
- This means that you are about to be deported and you do not face harm.
- Click Submit Request. Congratulations on completing your first request! It may have seemed hard, but getting this information is very important in helping with your case.