May 21, 2022

Coalition Calls for Urgent Investigation of Destruction of Records on Family Separation Crisis

Note: Signatories of the letter discussed and linked below include:

  • ALA
  • Concerned Archivists Alliance
  • Digital Library Federation’s Government Records Transparency Interest Group
  • National Security Archive
  • Society of American Archivists
  • and Many Others


Open the Government, together with a coalition of organizations committed to government accountability, civil liberties, human rights, and civil rights, is calling on Congress to immediately investigate the administration’s records management practices relating to the “zero-tolerance” immigration enforcement policy and family reunification efforts. This policy has caused a major humanitarian crisis, and the administration has already failed to meet court ordered deadlines to reunify children with their parents. While the government claims to know the location of all children in its custody, recent reports indicate that border agents are improperly destroying records on the separated families, heightening concern that these children might never see their parents again.


To increase access to information on this issue, Open the Government and the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) are also filing a Freedom of Information Act request calling for the disclosure of all policy guidance relating to the handling of records by border agents, implementation of the zero-tolerance policy, and the administration’s family reunification plan (read the FOIA here). The request asks for expedited processing, citing the urgent need to provide information to family members, advocates, and lawyers working to ensure the separated children see their parents again.

Read the Complete Statement

Read the Coalition Letter (4 pages; PDF)
Sent to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs & Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.