Case: Bustos v. Mitchell

1:69-cv-03386 | U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Filed Date: 1969

Closed Date: 1975

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In the early 1970s, several farmworkers and the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, a collective-bargaining agent, brought suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging the Immigration and Naturalization Service's practice of permitting Mexican aliens to commute either daily or seasonally from their homes in Mexico to farm jobs in the U.S. under the "special immigrant"' classification of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Plaintiffs' complaint sough…

In the early 1970s, several farmworkers and the United Farm Workers Organizing Committee, a collective-bargaining agent, brought suit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging the Immigration and Naturalization Service's practice of permitting Mexican aliens to commute either daily or seasonally from their homes in Mexico to farm jobs in the U.S. under the "special immigrant"' classification of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Plaintiffs' complaint sought declaratory and injunctive relief to stop the practice.

After the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment, the District Court (Judge Aubrey E. Robinson, Jr.) upheld the practice, entered judgment in favor of the defendants, and dismissed the action. On appeal, the Court of Appeals upheld the practice and classification scheme as applied to daily commuters but rejected it as to seasonal ones. It reversed the District Court's judgment in part and remanded the case. Bustos v. Mitchell, 481 F.2d 479 (D.C.Cir. 1973). Certiorari was granted by the U.S. Supreme Court. Saxbe v. Bustos, 414 U.S. 1143, 94 S.Ct. 891, 39 L.Ed.2d 97 (1974).

The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that alien commuters from Mexico and Canada were immigrants who were "lawfully admitted for permanent residence," and were "returning from a temporary visit abroad" within the meaning of the Immigration and Nationality Act when they entered the United States. As such, the Court concluded that the INS had properly extended the "special immigrant" classification to both daily and seasonal commuters. Saxbe v. Bustos, 419 U.S. 65, 95 S.Ct. 272, 42 L.Ed.2d 231 (1974). On remand, the Court of Appeals vacated its opinion in part. Bustos v. Saxbe, 510 F.2d 223 (D.C.Cir. 1975) and the case was dismissed.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (12/30/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Edwards, George Clifton Jr. (Michigan)

Pratt, John Helm (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Evans, Mark L. (District of Columbia)

Other Attorney(s)

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Judge(s)

Edwards, George Clifton Jr. (Michigan)

Pratt, John Helm (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Evans, Mark L. (District of Columbia)

Other Attorney(s)

Farb, Ralph (New York)

Karr, John W. (District of Columbia)

Onek, Joseph (District of Columbia)

Terris, Bruce J (District of Columbia)

Terry, John A. (District of Columbia)

Titus, Harold H. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Zimmerman, Gil (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

481 F.2d 479

April 16, 1973 Order/Opinion

Supreme Court Order

Bustos v. Saxbe

Supreme Court of the United States

414 U.S. 1143

Jan. 14, 1974 Order/Opinion

Supreme Court Opinion

Bustos v. Saxbe

Supreme Court of the United States

419 U.S. 65

Nov. 25, 1974 Order/Opinion

USCA Order

Bustos v. Saxbe

U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

510 F.2d 223

Feb. 18, 1975 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

The Oyez Project, Saxbe v. Bustos, 419 U.S. 65 (1974).

Oyez Project

Information about the Supreme Court litigation in this case, including the written opinion and audio recordings of the oral argument and opinion announcement. Nov. 25, 1974 http://www.oyez.org/cases/1970-1979/1974/1974_73_300/

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: District of Columbia

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1969

Closing Date: 1975

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All citizens and alien permanent residents of the United States engaged in farm labor in California.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Denied

Defendants

Attorney General of the United States, Federal

Immigration and Naturalization Service, Federal

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

U.S. Supreme Court merits opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

Immigration/Border:

Admission - criteria

Employment

Temporary foreign workers program

Temporary visitors