Case: Silva v. Bell

1:76-04268 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Filed Date: Nov. 18, 1976

Closed Date: 1979

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 18, 1976, a class of visa applicants from Western Hemisphere countries whose applications were filed between July 1, 1968, and December 31, 1976, but had not yet been processed, brought suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, challenging policies of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in processing their applications. Plaintiffs alleged that the INS unlawfully charged visa numbers that were issued to Cuban refugees who were granted pe…

On November 18, 1976, a class of visa applicants from Western Hemisphere countries whose applications were filed between July 1, 1968, and December 31, 1976, but had not yet been processed, brought suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, challenging policies of the Immigration and Naturalization Service in processing their applications. Plaintiffs alleged that the INS unlawfully charged visa numbers that were issued to Cuban refugees who were granted permanent resident status pursuant to the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 against the annual Western Hemisphere numerical limitation.

In 1976, shortly before the filing of the lawsuit, the Justice Department issued a memorandum that stated "Cuban refugees whose status is adjusted to that of alien admitted for permanent residence are not to be counted against the Western Hemisphere quota." This suit followed.

The District Court (John F. Grady) entered judgment in favor of plaintiffs, finding that the INS' unlawful charging policy violated the Fifth Amendment rights of plaintiffs and ordering that visa numbers they erroneously charged against the Western Hemisphere quota should be allocated among the applicants on the waiting list, chronologically without regard to national origin. The government appealed. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Circuit Judge Tone) reversed in part and remanded, holding that that the charged visa numbers should be allocated among the Western Hemisphere applicants on the waiting list in accordance with historical immigration patterns for countries involved and not chronologically. Silva v. Bell, 605 F.2d 978 (7th Cir. 1979).

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (12/5/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Campbell, William Joseph (Illinois)

Cummings, Walter Joseph (Illinois)

Grady, John Francis (Illinois)

Tone, Philip Willis (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Goldsmith, Bruce (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Filppu, Lauri Steven (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Campbell, William Joseph (Illinois)

Cummings, Walter Joseph (Illinois)

Grady, John Francis (Illinois)

Tone, Philip Willis (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Goldsmith, Bruce (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Filppu, Lauri Steven (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Final Judgment Order

1978 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 15038

Oct. 10, 1978 Order/Opinion

USCA Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

605 F.2d 978

Oct. 18, 1979 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 18, 1976

Closing Date: 1979

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A class of visa applicants from Western Hemisphere countries whose applications were filed between July 1, 1968, and December 31, 1976, but have not yet been processed.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Immigration and Naturalization Service, Federal

United States Attorney General, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

Immigration/Border:

Constitutional rights

U.S. citizenship - acquiring

Visas - criteria

Visas - procedures