Case: Yi v. Maugans

1:93-cv-01702 | U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: Nov. 3, 1993

Closed Date: 2002

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

The "Golden Venture cases" involve the plight of several hundred Chinese undocumented aliens that were smuggled into the U.S. aboard a broken down cargo ship, the Golden Venture. The aliens each paid "snakeheads" (smugglers) up to $40,000 to gain passage on the Golden Venture, which sailed for 3 months before it ran aground in New York Harbor in June 1993. When the ship crashed, the aliens jumped overboard and tried to swim ashore. Several aliens drowned and several hundred were arrested and…

The "Golden Venture cases" involve the plight of several hundred Chinese undocumented aliens that were smuggled into the U.S. aboard a broken down cargo ship, the Golden Venture. The aliens each paid "snakeheads" (smugglers) up to $40,000 to gain passage on the Golden Venture, which sailed for 3 months before it ran aground in New York Harbor in June 1993. When the ship crashed, the aliens jumped overboard and tried to swim ashore. Several aliens drowned and several hundred were arrested and detained by the INS. About 145 of those arrested were transferred to York County Prison in Pennsylvania for detention.

Many of the detainees sought political asylum, claiming that they were fleeing tyrannical forces, including forced sterilizations and other coercive measures implemented as part of China's one-child population control policy. After their applications for asylum were denied, the aliens appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") which dismissed their appeals. In 1993, numerous detainees filed petitions for habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

On November 15, 1993, the District Court (Judge Sylvia H. Rambo) consolidated all of the individual actions into one case, captioned Yang You Yi v. Maugans, No. 93-1702. Two days later, one of the petitioners moved for class certification and interim class relief. On November 24, 1993, the District Court conditionally certified a class of aliens that had exhausted their administrative remedies and issued a TRO to prevent their deportation. The Court appointed a petitioners' steering committee consisting of 6 attorneys who were charged with assisting the Court in coordinating the litigation. Within the committee, subcommittees were created for (1) individual petitioner issues, (2) substantive immigration law matters and (3) class action issues.

After considering the matter further, the Court de-certified the class and vacated its TRO. Yang v. Reno, 852 F.Supp. 316 (M.D.Pa. 1994). Plaintiffs appealed and the Third Circuit affirmed. Yi v. Maugans, 24 F.3d 500 (3rd Cir. 1994).

The petitioners asserted that the Clinton Administration was unduly exerting political pressure to deny their claims for asylum and withholding of deportation. They contended that the Administration was using them as an example to discourage other Chinese citizens from attempting to immigrate to the U.S. They sought discovery to prove their allegations of political interference. The government resisted and moved for a protective order limiting discovery. The trial court denied the motion and permitted discovery on the issue. Yang v. Reno, 157 F.R.D. 625 (M.D.Pa. 1994).

After discovery was completed, several petitioners moved partial summary judgment on the issue of whether they had effected an "entry" into the United States. The issue was critical because while undocumented immigrants had the right to request release on bond in connection with deportation, those caught outside the country trying to enter it illegally (exclusion cases), had no right to release. Judge Rambo found that the petitioners on the Golden Venture met the criteria for entry under the Immigration and Nationality Act and were therefore entitled to be released on bond. Chung v. Reno, 886 F.Supp. 1172 (M.D.Pa. 1995). The Third Circuit disagreed and reversed the grant of partial summary judgment. Yang v. Maugans, 68 F.3d 1540 (3rd Cir. 1995) Rehearing and suggestion for rehearing in banc was denied. Other subsequent summary judgment rulings were also ordered to be vacated by the Third Circuit in light of its opinion. You Yi Yang v. Maugans, 77 F.3d 466 (3rd Cir. 1996).

On March 13, 1996, the District Court issued its memorandum, holding that the petitioners were not entitled to an evidentiary hearing on their claim of political interference. The Court also determined that petitioners failed to present significant evidence on their equal protection claim - alleging that their asylum claims were adversely affected by their status as Golden Venture passengers. Yang v. Reno, 925 F.Supp. 320 (M.D.Pa. 1996).

The government then moved to dismiss all of the pending individual petitions for writs of habeas corpus. Judge Rambo denied the motion but ordered all petitioners, who believed that they had outstanding unresolved issues in their individual habeas petitions, to brief those issues. The PACER docket reflects various court action on individual petitions thereafter.

In October 1996, Judge Rambo stayed all proceedings on all habeas petitions in light of newly passed federal legislation, Section 601(a) of Illegal Immigration and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA). The Court ordered the petitioners' steering committee and the respondents to file case resolution proposals addressing the new law. After receiving the proposals and meeting with the parties, the Court remanded many of the petitioners' cases to Board of Immigration Appeals to reevaluate petitioners' claim for political asylum in light of IIRIRA.

From 1997 until the end of 2002, when the case was closed, the PACER docket reflects that the Court took various action on the individual petitions still pending before it.

Note that separate criminal proceedings were pursued against the snakeheads that smuggled the passengers of the Golden Venture. See e.g. United States v. Lee Peng Fei, 225 F.3d 167, 169-70 (2d Cir. 2000). News accounts reported that the lead smuggler Cheng Chui Ping, known as "the Mother of all Snakeheads," was captured abroad and eventually extradited to the U.S. were she was convicted for her involvement in the smuggling operation.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (12/29/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Alito, Samuel A. Jr. (New Jersey)

Becker, Edward Roy (Pennsylvania)

Chen, Xiaomin (New York)

Cowen, Arnold Wilson (District of Columbia)

Greenberg, Morton Ira (New Jersey)

Hutchinson, William D. (Pennsylvania)

Lewis, Timothy K. (Pennsylvania)

Mansmann, Carol Los (Pennsylvania)

McKee, Theodore Alexander (Pennsylvania)

Nygaard, Richard Lowell (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Alito, Samuel A. Jr. (New Jersey)

Becker, Edward Roy (Pennsylvania)

Chen, Xiaomin (New York)

Cowen, Arnold Wilson (District of Columbia)

Greenberg, Morton Ira (New Jersey)

Hutchinson, William D. (Pennsylvania)

Lewis, Timothy K. (Pennsylvania)

Mansmann, Carol Los (Pennsylvania)

McKee, Theodore Alexander (Pennsylvania)

Nygaard, Richard Lowell (Pennsylvania)

Rambo, Sylvia H. (Pennsylvania)

Rosenn, Max (Pennsylvania)

Roth, Jane Richards (Delaware)

Sarokin, H. Lee (New Jersey)

Scirica, Anthony Joseph (Pennsylvania)

Sloviter, Dolores Korman (Pennsylvania)

Stapleton, Walter King (Delaware)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Adler, Enid H. (Pennsylvania)

Anderson, Carl J. (Pennsylvania)

Baird, Lisa A (Pennsylvania)

Bergere, Timothy J (Pennsylvania)

Bernstein, Martina (Pennsylvania)

Blake, Kurt A. (Pennsylvania)

Blynn, Terry Peyser (Pennsylvania)

Bortner, Michael (Pennsylvania)

Bricknell, Sarah M (Pennsylvania)

Butler, Patricia (Pennsylvania)

Carr, Ann (Pennsylvania)

Cavadel, Joel (Pennsylvania)

Cheerath, Ram M (Pennsylvania)

Chomsky, Judith Brown (Pennsylvania)

Cohen, Joshua D (Pennsylvania)

Cokely, E Paul (Pennsylvania)

Conner, Katherene Holtzinger (Pennsylvania)

Consevage, John B (Pennsylvania)

Converse, Stephen D (Pennsylvania)

Countess, Frank (Pennsylvania)

Crabbs, Muriel (Pennsylvania)

Crow, Edward L (Pennsylvania)

Donovan, Kevin M (Pennsylvania)

Dresdner, Cindi L (New York)

Dunlap, Hanna A (Pennsylvania)

Elliott, John R (Pennsylvania)

Ernico, Jeffrey A (Pennsylvania)

Garfinkle, Jill E (Pennsylvania)

Granbois, Katherine Pandelidis (Pennsylvania)

Grossman, Seth (Pennsylvania)

Haller, Anthony B (Pennsylvania)

Hess, Melvin H (Pennsylvania)

Hollinger, Linda (Pennsylvania)

Hom, Anthony J (Pennsylvania)

Ingersoll, Jared Ward (Pennsylvania)

Joseph, Willian F. (Pennsylvania)

Kitchenoff, Robert S (Pennsylvania)

Krout, Michael Jay (Pennsylvania)

Law, Tsiwen M (Pennsylvania)

Lenahan, William D (Pennsylvania)

Lord, Gerald A (Pennsylvania)

Maisch, David J (Pennsylvania)

Marcus, Patricia R (Pennsylvania)

Markey, Gavin Wayne (Pennsylvania)

Matson, Jennifer H (Pennsylvania)

McDougall, Mary A (Pennsylvania)

McHale, Joseph (Pennsylvania)

McLaughlin, Shawn P (Pennsylvania)

Morris, Helen (District of Columbia)

Musselman, Judith (Pennsylvania)

Narehood, Vivian B (Pennsylvania)

Newbold, Arthur E IV (Pennsylvania)

Noreika, Gloriana (Pennsylvania)

Ogden, John M (Pennsylvania)

Oh, Emma L (Pennsylvania)

O'Shea, Thomas D (Pennsylvania)

Pell, Daniel M (Pennsylvania)

Phillips, Sharon J (New York)

Place, Thomas M (Pennsylvania)

Points, Beverly J (Pennsylvania)

Poole, William H Jr (Pennsylvania)

Porges, Robert E (New York)

Prendergast, Kathleen (Pennsylvania)

Rausch, Charles A (Pennsylvania)

Rayer, Frances (Pennsylvania)

Reichow, Christopher William (Pennsylvania)

Rosenberg, Lory D. (District of Columbia)

Selfe, Loura A (Pennsylvania)

Shertzer, Daniel H Jr (Pennsylvania)

Shimizu, Eileen (Pennsylvania)

Shultis, Timothy J (Pennsylvania)

Simon, Jessamyne M (Pennsylvania)

Southworth, James E (Pennsylvania)

Tarlow, Marc G (Pennsylvania)

Trappen, William J (Pennsylvania)

Trebilcock, Craig T (Pennsylvania)

Weinstein, David H (Pennsylvania)

Wilson, Craig (New York)

Zampini, Melanie Albert (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Andre, John J (District of Columbia)

Barasch, David M (District of Columbia)

Bernal, David V. (District of Columbia)

Blanchard, Kathleen (Pennsylvania)

Bondy, Thomas M. (District of Columbia)

Cabral, Kristen A (District of Columbia)

Cho, Susie (District of Columbia)

Dawson, April Gordon (District of Columbia)

Deutsch, Stewart (District of Columbia)

Duffy, Edward J (District of Columbia)

Ellison, Brenda (District of Columbia)

Erb, William Campbell (District of Columbia)

Filppu, Lauri Steven (District of Columbia)

Friedman, Laura M. (District of Columbia)

Fuller, Christopher C (District of Columbia)

Funk, Stephen W. (District of Columbia)

Gomez, Jane (District of Columbia)

Grindler, Gary G (District of Columbia)

Hunger, Frank W. (District of Columbia)

Hunolt, James A. (District of Columbia)

Jones, Philemina McNeill (District of Columbia)

Loebl, Leah (District of Columbia)

Long, Robert Richard Jr (Pennsylvania)

Lopez-Wright, M Jocelyn (District of Columbia)

Marlow, Kristal (District of Columbia)

McConnell, David M. (District of Columbia)

Mullane, Hugh (District of Columbia)

Potuto, Tina (District of Columbia)

Reyna, Nelda C. (District of Columbia)

Schwartz, Norah Ascoli (District of Columbia)

Shapiro, Alexander H (District of Columbia)

Singer, Michael Jay (District of Columbia)

Terz, Joseph J. (Pennsylvania)

Vu, Quynh (District of Columbia)

Wernery, Linda S. (District of Columbia)

Other Attorney(s)

Quan, Gordon (Texas)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Dec. 13, 2002 Docket
123

[Order]

Yang v. Reno

852 F.Supp. 316

Jan. 5, 1994 Order/Opinion

Opinion of the Court

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

24 F.3d 500

May 5, 1994 Order/Opinion
486

Memorandum [Re: Protective Order]

Yang v. Reno

157 F.R.D. 625

Oct. 17, 1994 Order/Opinion
761

Memorandum [Re: Habeas Petition]

Chung v. Reno

886 F.Supp. 1172

May 16, 1995 Order/Opinion

Opinion of the Court

Yang v. Maugans

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

68 F.3d 1540

Oct. 24, 1995 Order/Opinion

Opinion [Re: Rehearing]

Yang v. Reno

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

1995 U.S.App.LEXIS 37147

Dec. 27, 1995 Order/Opinion

Appellate Decision

Yang v. Maugans

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

77 F.3d 466

Jan. 4, 1996 Order/Opinion
1116

Memorandum

Yang v. Reno

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

925 F.Supp. 320

March 13, 1996 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 3, 1993

Closing Date: 2002

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Several hundred Chinese undocumented aliens that were smuggled into the U.S. aboard the ship, the Golden Venture.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Denied

Defendants

United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Federal

Attorney General of the United States, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown

Issues

General:

Habeas Corpus

Immigration/Border:

Asylum - criteria

Asylum - procedure

Refugees