How To Get 1,000 Free Sheets of Printer Paper: Request Someone's File From U.S. Immigration


Five inches of blank pages! Thanks, federal government! - PHOTO BY NICHOLAS PHILLIPS
  • Photo by Nicholas Phillips
  • Five inches of blank pages! Thanks, federal government!
As part of some routine fact-checking for our current cover story on local Hispanic publisher Cecilia Velazquez, RFT requested her file from U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS).

And what a response we got! No less than 1,102 pages of documentation were identified as relevant. However, citing privacy rules, the feds withheld 1,063 of these pages, or 96.4 percent, of the file.  BUT THEY STILL SENT ALL THE BLANK PAGES.

We don't fault USCIS for adhering to rules protecting an individual's privacy. In fact, we expected them to do so. But mailing us 1,063 blank pages, apparently at taxpayer expense, does nobody any good. Except in one respect: we might be using them for printer paper. So thanks, in a way, to Uncle Sam!