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What are the risks of an illegally present person requesting a FOIA?

San Jose, CA |

I consulted an attorney and she said it will take 4-6 before the documents can be returned (but I did research and it looks like less?). She also said there is no risk for this individual because she would be requesting these documents. However, I am skeptical as the documents ask for the individual to sign within the U.S. and provide address where the person lives. Looking for a 2nd opinion. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 5


Yes, you must sign the request form, but there is usually no risk involved, unless you have a criminal history or other. Consult with experienced immigration lawyer.

Follow Gintare Grigaite, Esq. on Facebook (search for Gintare Grigaite, Esq.). Contact immigration lawyer Gintare Grigaite, Esq. of Grigaite & Abdelsayed, LLC at 201-471-7989, located in New York and New Jersey, for a consultation about your immigration case. Answers on AVVO do not constitute legal advice and do not form attorney-client relationship. Always consult an attorney for a legal advice.


Better to have an attorney file the FOIA. That way, there is no need for you to reveal your address.

Please click the link at the very bottom for additional information.

Carl Shusterman, Esq.
Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
Schedule a Legal Consultation - Telephonic, Skype or In-Person
600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 394-4554 x0
Web: (English) (Spanish)

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


There is very little risk. I have never heard of ICE combing through FOIA requests just to target undocumented individuals, especially considering the relatively recent priorities. So, if there is a criminal history or this person is considered a fugitive for some reason, there potentially could be a problem, but I have never seen that in over a decade of filing FOIA requests.


Theoretically that you will point out your existence and address. Practically, none. Not in CA and not after the Morton Memo in place unless you have criminal history which, depending on the history, could cause a different answer on my part.

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


Locating the undocumented alien and detention for removal proceedings.

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