Free Speech & Peace

Charles Koch Institute Applauds Freedom of Information ‘Accountability Engine,’ Cites Immigration Data as Proof of Importance

July 17, 2019
Charles Koch Institute Applauds Freedom of Information ‘Accountability Engine,’ Cites Immigration Data as Proof of Importance

As part of years of work requesting and organizing the findings of millions of public records requests, scholars at Syracuse’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) discovered immigrants now wait an average of 727 days for decisions on their cases. News reports today reveal that these wait times are roughly twice as long as two decades ago. While these findings may help inform discussions around immigration policy, they also demonstrate the power of open government efforts. Charles Koch Institute Director of Free Expression Sarah Ruger released the following statement:

For data-driven solutions to our country’s most pressing challenges, you first need … well, data. Many don’t consider FOIA a glamorous topic, which makes the rigorous work done by Syracuse’s TRAC and other open government scholars all the more important. Tools like Syracuse’s ‘accountability engine’ give journalists, researchers, and citizens greater insight into the workings of government and empower individuals to more easily engage on the issues they care about.

The Charles Koch Foundation’s support of Syracuse’s initiative is one of many grants expanding work that explores the role of government transparency in an open society. These include educational opportunities, legal scholarship, and new and innovative programs.