A present request within the scope of the Freedom of Information Act [hereinafter FOIA] for immigration files takes about 30 to 90 days. U.S. CIS must locate the client file, have it transferred so the FOIA department can manually scan the documents into a PDF file, and then mail the file on a compact disc to the applicant. U.S. CIS must locate and then manually scan millions of pages each year.
As stated in Chapters 1-4, U.S. CIS and EOIR should simply allow aliens to submit all applications by PDF. Each year, the amount of pages that are manually scanned would be reduced by millions of pages, and eventually, U.S. CIS will have a computer file for each alien. When a FOIA request is processed, U.S. CIS can retrieve the PDF file and send it by email if requested by the alien or copy the file in PDF format. The faster U.S. CIS can convert to electronic files, the faster it can eliminate the millions of pages it needs to scan each year for FOIA requests.