FOI request to the Federal Police on the Connector Space at the International Airport of Guarulhos
Conectas wants to know how many immigrants spent time in the area, as well as the outcome of each case and the reasons why they were held
On 9 May 2016, Conectas submitted a freedom of information request to the Federal Police on the Connector Space at the São Paulo International Airport of Guarulhos. The Connector Space is an area inside the airport for temporarily holding immigrants who are denied entry to Brazil or prevented from continuing their journey when they have connecting flights.
Conectas requested information on: 1) How many immigrants were held at the Connector Space, regardless of their immigration status, between 1 January 2010 and 1 May 2016; 2) How many immigrants held at the Connector Space between 1 January 2010 and 1 May 2016 requested refugee status; 3) How many immigrants held at the Connector Space between 1 January 2010 and 1 May 2016 were deported; 4) Individualized information (not personal information, in order to protect privacy) of all the immigrants held at the Connector Space between 1 January 2010 and 1 May 2016 (or in a shorter period, if the data are not available), including: (a) the immigrant’s identification code; (b) nationality; (c) gender; (d) age; (e) race; (f) immigration status (whether they were traveling with a visa to enter Brazil or, if they had a connecting flight, whether they had a visa for their destination country); (g) the legal notifications and reasons for holding them in the Connector Space, pursuant to Law No. 6,815/80 and Law No. 9,747/97; (h) the number of days they were held in the Connector Space; (i) the final destination of their journey (whether it was Brazil or if they had a connecting flight to another country); (j) whether they requested refugee status; (k) the outcome of the case (whether the immigrant was deported, authorized to continue their journey to another country or granted entry to Brazil); (l) whether they received the assistance of the Immigration Service Center or the Federal Public Defender’s Office; (m) whether they were deported (in this case, inform the code of the administrative process that led to the deportation decision); 5) Which companies and public bodies (national and international) have representatives, employees or service providers with access to the Connector Space.
On 30 May 2016, an application was filed to extend the deadline for responding to the FOI request, in observance of article 11, paragraph 2, of Law No. 12,527/12.
On 9 June 2016, the Federal Police submitted its response to the request, stating that since some of the requested information was personal data protected by secrecy, it could not be provided. Additionally, it informed that the Connector Space was not the responsibility of the Federal Police, but instead the responsibility of the airlines. Finally, the response stated it would not be possible to supply the detailed information requested within the specified time frame on account of the large volume of people.
On 16 June 2016, Conectas filed a first instance appeal contesting two points: a) lack of legal grounds for denying the information; and b) lack of any violation of the right to privacy in the requested information. The appeal reiterated the information requests contained in the original petition.
On 17 June 2016, the Federal Police submitted its response to the first instance appeal. Emphasizing that the original response did not make it clear which items of the request it was referring to, the appeal was partially granted and the São Paulo Regional Office of the Federal Police was given two weeks to review the request and provide individual grounds for any denied information.