Answered By: Jim Shaw
Last Updated: May 06, 2015     Views: 43

As best I can tell, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not publicly released the SEVIS dataset, though it appears they share components of the dataset with other Federal law enforcement agencies.

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) office of ICE has released a few quarterly summary reports of SEVIS data in its online FOIA Library.  You may click here to view a PDF copy of the most recent posted (October 2011).  My reading of DHS's most recent Privacy Impact Assessment Update is that access to an individual's SEVIS record would require a Freedom of Information Act request (see page 5).  That would almost certainly mean that access to the larger dataset is highly restricted.

I checked the datasets posted to the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), and I did not see any files there.  The ICPSR database is by far the largest and most likely source for public datasets originating with Federal agencies.

To confirm my conclusions, you could contact the FOIA office of ICE and ask about the SEVIS dataset.  If they respond that an arrangement could be made, you would need to also ask how long it would take.  FOIA requests are notorious for taking a long time to process, even extending to years, and thus may not be of practical use to you.

You might also contact Dean Thomas Goutierre's office in International Studies and Programs.  If UNO has a local file, or the NU System has one, he or his colleagues may be able to help.  I suspect, though, that use of any locally maintained data would have to conform to guidelines provided by ICE, and those could prove restrictive.


James Shaw, Director of Collections, Criss Library, UNO;, 402-554-2225




Related Topics