Chronology of data search
Sept. 28, 2011: The Boston Globe files a Freedom of Information Act request for the names, crimes, and last-known states of residence of convicted criminals released in the United States by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and the reasons they were not deported.
Nov. 21, 2011: The Globe resubmits the request because ICE says it cannot find it.
Dec. 22, 2011: After conferring with ICE, the Globe modifies its request to a list of criminals released because of the 2001 Supreme Court decision Zadvydas v. Davis, which limited the amount of time officials can jail immigrants who cannot be deported. Otherwise, the data was not available, ICE told the Globe.
Jan. 24, 2012: ICE provides a list of 6,843 criminals released since 2008 — but refuses to provide their names to protect their privacy. The list includes their most serious crime, release date, and release location, such as the Boston area of responsibility, which covers New England.
Feb. 24, 2012: The Globe appeals to ICE’s Office of Principal Legal Advisor, within the Department of Homeland Security, to get the list of criminals’ names.
April 20, 2012: The appeal is denied.
Nov. 5, 2012: The Globe, then owned by The New York Times Company, files a federal lawsuit in New York seeking the names.
June 2013: Judge Shira A. Scheindlin rules in the Globe’s favor.
Oct. 2013: Two years after its original request, ICE sends the Globe the list of names, but it only includes criminals released from 2008 to 2012.
Jan. 2014: The Globe requests the names of criminals freed after 2012.
May 2014: ICE sends a new list of 6,098 criminals released from January 2012 to February 2014, but the names are all redacted and crimes and release locations are also missing.
July 2014: After conferring with the Globe’s lawyers, ICE sends a new spreadsheet that only includes the criminals’ names and release dates. Because the release locations are still missing, the Globe could not research any new offenses by criminals released in New England after 2012.
April 2016: The Immigration agency sends the Globe a fifth list containing the names, release dates, and other information the news organization had not requested, including the countries of origin, of criminals freed from 2012 to 2016. One detail is still missing: The locations where the criminals were released.
Maria Sacchetti can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @mariasacchetti.