Filed Date: Sept. 14, 2017
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This suit, brought on September 14, 2017, challenged President Trump's revocation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The plaintiff was the City of San Jose, and it argued that the rescission violated the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The City sought a declaration that rescinding DACA was unlawful, and an injunction to halt the rescission and any steps to deport DACA recipients.
The background leading up to this case was lengthy. In 2012, the Obama administration created the DACA program via DHS policy statements. The program offered work permits and temporary protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States as children, as long as they met certain criteria. As of 2017, there were an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients. On September 5, 2017, President Trump announced that he was ending the program in March unless Congress acted within the next six months. As the complaint highlighted, the Obama administration made key promises to immigrants: that any information they provided in the application process would not be used for immigration enforcement, and that barring criminal activity or fraud in their DACA applications, DACA recipients would be able to renew their status and keep their benefits.
In the complaint, San Jose noted that over a quarter of DACA recipients lived in California. The complaint emphasized that San Jose, the tenth-largest city in America, "has always been a place for immigrants[,] with almost 40% of its current population having been born in another country." San Jose further noted that the city employed many DACA recipients, and that the federal government's actions would cause San Jose to experience a significant loss of tax revenue and loss of experienced employees. San Jose alleged that DACA rescission violated Fifth Amendment Due Process rights by targeting individuals for discriminatory treatment based on their national origin without lawful justification. It also alleged that defendants had violated the APA by carrying out government action without first going through notice and comment.
The case was initially assigned to Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen on Sept. 14, and reassigned to Judge William Alsup on Sept. 21 after the case was related to Regents of the University of California v. Department of Homeland Security (No. 17-cv-05211), Garcia v. USA (No. 17-cv-5380), and State of California v. DHS (No. 17-cv-5235). The case was later related to County of Santa Clara v. Trump (No. 17-cv-05813).
On Oct. 6, in a related challenge led by Regents of University of California before this judge, the government filed the administrative record, available here, which included a series of government documents pertaining to DACA from its inception to the decision to rescind it. On Oct. 17, after the University in the related case moved to compel the defendants to complete the administrative record, the court ordered them to do so in all related cases, including this one.
The court ultimately found that the defendants did not produce all documents leading to the rescission, specifically related documents that Acting Secretary Duke did not directly review. The defendants moved to stay further proceedings at this court on Oct. 18 in light of their intent to appeal this ruling to the Ninth Circuit. The court denied staying proceedings on Oct. 19, and the defendants appealed the next day by filing a petition for a writ of mandamus and an emergency motion for stay. On Oct. 23, the district court replied to the Ninth Circuit's invitation to answer the government's petition stating it would not stay proceedings in light of the narrow window of time until the DACA ended on March 5, 2018.
On Nov. 16, the Ninth Circuit denied defendants' motion for a writ of mandamus, and the District Court immediately ordered the federal government to file an augmented administrative record by Nov 22. On Nov. 17, the federal government filed an emergency motion noting that it intended to file an application for mandamus with the Supreme Court no later than Nov. 20, and requesting that the Ninth Circuit stay its order pending the Supreme Court's resolution of the forthcoming petition. On Nov. 21, the Ninth Circuit dismissed the federal government's motion, holding that jurisdiction lied with the District Court and instructing the federal government that further relief must be sought in a new petition for mandamus.
Meanwhile, in the District Court, Judge Alsup on Nov. 20 agreed to stay all discovery until Dec. 22, at which point the augmented administrative record would be due.
On Dec. 1, 2017, the government filed notice that they appealed the Ninth's Circuit denial of mandamus relief and applied for a stay to the Supreme Court. On Dec. 21 in a per curiam opinion, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit's denial and remanded the case. The Court held that the district court should have stayed the order compelling the government to complete the administrative record. The Supreme Court stated that the lower court should have "first resolved the Government's threshold arguments (that the Acting Secretary's determination to rescind DACA was unreviewable because it was "committed to agency discretion," 5 U. S. C. §701(a)(2), and that the Immigration and Nationality Act deprived the District Court of jurisdiction). Either of those arguments, if accepted, likely would eliminate the need for the District Court to examine a complete administrative record." 583 U.S. ____ (2017). The same day, the district court stayed the order compelling the government to complete the administrative record.
On Jan. 9, 2018, the district court denied the government's Nov. 1, 2017 motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, and provided provisional relief to the plaintiffs. The order indicated the court would separately deny the government's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The court ordered a nationwide preliminary injunction, ordering that DACA remain in effect on the same terms and conditions that existed prior to the rescission. However, the government did not need to process new applications from individuals who never before received deferred action. The court then granted in part and denied in part the government's motion to dismiss on Jan. 12, dismissing the plaintiffs' Regulatory Flexibility Act and equitable estoppel claims as well the individual plaintiffs' declaratory relief claims. The court sustained the plaintiffs' APA, due process, and equal protection claims (with a few exceptions from the various complaints of the related cases).
The government appealed to the Ninth Circuit on Jan. 16, 2018, and also sought certiorari from the Supreme Court on Jan. 18 while the Ninth Circuit appeal was pending, arguing that the Supreme Court's immediate review was warranted because of how long the appeal would take in the Ninth Circuit and how time-sensitive the issue was. The Supreme Court denied certiorari without prejudice on Feb. 26, 2018, indicating the assumption of the justices "that the Court of Appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case."
The related cases were consolidated in the Ninth Circuit for the purposes of appeal. UC Regents, et al v. USA, et al, Case Number 18-80037 USCA 9th Circuit March 19, 2018. In February and March 2018, the parties and amici filed their briefs, which can be found here.
The Ninth Circuit (Judges Kim McLane Wardlaw, Jacqueline H. Nguyen, and John B. Owens) affirmed the district court's rulings on Nov. 8, 2018. The panel held that "DACA was a permissible exercise of executive discretion" and the government's belief that DACA was illegal was wrong. 2018 WL 5833232. Thus, the panel concluded that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the merits in showing that the rescission was arbitrary and capricious under the APA. The panel also held that a nationwide injunction was appropriate because it "promotes uniformity in immigration enforcement, and is necessary to provide the plaintiffs here with complete redress." Id.
The defendants petitioned the Supreme Court of the U.S. for a writ of certiorari on Nov. 5, 2018.
On June 28, 2019, the Supreme Court granted writs of certiorari in three DACA cases: Regents of University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen, and NAACP v. Trump, all of which were pending before different circuit courts of appeal. The Court consolidated the three cases (No. 18-587).
The Supreme Court heard oral argument on November 12, 2019, on the issues of whether DHS's decision to wind down the DACA policy is judicially reviewable and whether DHS’s decision to rescind DACA is lawful. On June 18, 2020, in an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts (joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor), the Court held that the DACA rescission was subject to judicial review under the APA, that the DHS secretary had offered insufficient justification to rescind the program, and that the rescission was unlawful, arbitrary, and capricious in violation fo the APA. 140 S. Ct. 1891.
Following the Supreme Court's decision, in another case challenging the DACA recession, Casa De Maryland v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Fourth Circuit issued a mandate to reinstate DACA and set aside the recession memo on a nationwide basis on June 30, 2020. On July 17, 2020, the District Court of Maryland ordered DHS to reinstate DACA as it existed before the issuance of the recession memo and ordered DHS to resume accepting initial DACA applications.
However, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf instead issued a memorandum entitled "Reconsideration of the June 15, 2012 Memorandum Entitled 'Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children" on July 28, 2020 ("Wolf Memorandum"). In this memo, Acting Secretary Wolf stated that he would reconsider DACA's future in light of the Supreme Court's decision. In the interim, the memo instructed USCIS to reject all initial requests for DACA, to only grant advance parole to current DACA beneficiaries in exceptional circumstances, and grant DACA renewals for only one-year, rather than two-year, periods. Later in August, Deputy Director for Policy for USCIS Joseph Edlow issued a memorandum implementing the Wolf Memorandum.
On August 4, 2020, the Ninth Circuit remanded the case to the district court for further action consistent with the opinion of the Supreme Court.
In response to the Wolf Memorandum, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on November 3, 2020. In the amended complaint, the plaintiffs substituted some of the defendants to reflect new individuals occupying the relevant roles and to add additional responsible officials, including Deputy Director for Policy Edlow. The amended complaint argued that Acting Secretary Wolf's actions were invalid under the Federal Vacancies Reform Action, Homeland Security Act, and the Appointments Clause of the Constitution because he lacked proper authority to issue the Wolf Memorandum. In addition, the plaintiffs argued that the Wolf Memorandum and Edlow Memorandum violated the APA because Wolf and Edlow acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner. The plaintiffs sought declaratory relief and an injunction preventing the defendants from altering or limiting DACA program and vacating the Wolf and Edlow Memoranda.
Before any additional activity on the amended complaint in this case, on December 4, the court in another case challenging the Wolf Memorandum,Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen and State of New York v. Trump, ordered DHS to fully reinstate DACA as it existed prior to the attempted recession in September 2017 after it found that Acting Secretary Wolf was not lawfully serving as Acting Secretary. The order required DHS to accept initial DACA applications, accept advance parole applications, and grant DACA renewals for two-years. On December 7, 2020 USCIS updated their website and indicated that effective that day, USCIS would accept initial applications, extend one-year DACA renewals to two-years, and accept applications for advance parole.
Then, in early 2021, President Biden took office. On the day of his inauguration (January 20, 2021), President Biden signed a memorandum directing DHS and the Attorney General “to preserve and fortify DACA.” In light of potential additional agency action to implement the memorandum, the parties filed a joint stipulation to stay further proceedings and vacate pending deadlines on March 22, 2021. They agreed to provide the court with status updates every 60 days. The first is due May 24, 2021. This case is ongoing.
Julie Aust (11/21/2017)
Virginia Weeks (11/8/2018)
Sam Kulhanek (2/17/2019)
Eva Richardson (5/18/2019)
Sam Kulhanek (2/14/2020)
Emily Kempa (5/14/2021)
For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6152435/parties/city-of-san-jose-v-trump/
Alito, Samuel A. Jr. (District of Columbia)
Alsup, William Haskell (California)
Attorney, William D.
Attorney, Mary Kelly
Attorney, Maureen Alger,
Alito, Samuel A. Jr. (District of Columbia)
Alsup, William Haskell (California)
Gorsuch, Neil M. (District of Columbia)
Gould, Ronald Murray (Washington)
Kavanaugh, Brett M. (District of Columbia)
Kim, Sallie (California)
Roberts, John Glover Jr. (District of Columbia)
Sotomayor, Sonia (District of Columbia)
Thomas, Clarence (District of Columbia)
Wardlaw, Kim McLane (California)
Watford, Paul Jeffrey (California)
See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6152435/city-of-san-jose-v-trump/
Last updated Feb. 16, 2024, 3:02 a.m.
State / Territory: California
Filing Date: Sept. 14, 2017
Case Ongoing: Yes
The City of San Jose, on behalf of itself and on behalf of its DACA-recipient employees.
Public Interest Lawyer: No
Filed Pro Se: No
Class Action Sought: No
Class Action Outcome: Not sought
Causes of Action:
Prevailing Party: Plaintiff
Nature of Relief:
Source of Relief:
Content of Injunction: