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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Doe v. McAleenan IM-CA-0152
Docket / Court 3:19-cv-02119-DMS-AGS ( S.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Trump Immigration Enforcement Order Challenges
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
Case Summary
This is a case about asylum seekers' right to counsel in refoulment interviews conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services which determine whether an asylum seeker can remain in the United States during their immigration proceedings.

On November 5, 2019, asylum seekers filed ... read more >
This is a case about asylum seekers' right to counsel in refoulment interviews conducted by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services which determine whether an asylum seeker can remain in the United States during their immigration proceedings.

On November 5, 2019, asylum seekers filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Southern District of California (in San Diego). The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU of San Diego, sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for violating the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. §§ 551), the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. §§ 1101), and Plaintiffs’ rights to procedural and substantive due process under the Fifth Amendment and their right to free speech under the First Amendment. The plaintiffs sought a declaration that the Federal Government unlawfully deprived them of access to counsel to prepare for hearings that could result in immediate deportation under the Migrant Protection Protocols (also called the "Remain in Mexico Policy") along with an injunction allowing access to counsel (or habeas relief if access to counsel would be impractical) and attorneys' fees.

The plaintiffs are parents who fled from Guatemala to the United States through Mexico, where they alleged they were robbed and assaulted. They were detained in the United States and faced deportation to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols while their asylum claims were pending in the United States. However, they could avoid deportation if they could establish that their life or freedom would be threatened in Mexico at a "non-refoulement" interview. But the plaintiffs alleged that the defendants prevented them from retaining counsel to help them prepare for and represent them in their impending non-refoulement interviews.

On the same day they filed suit, the plaintiffs asked the Court for a temporary restraining order to allow them access to retained counsel and filed a motion for class certification. Judge Dana M. Sabraw granted a temporary restraining order to enjoin the government from denying the plaintiffs' access to legal counsel before and during their non-refoulement interview on November 12, 2019. Judge Sabraw also certified a class consisting of “all individuals who are detained in CBP custody in California awaiting or undergoing non-refoulement interviews pursuant to what the government calls the 'Migrant Protection Protocols' program and who have retained lawyers” on January 14, 2020. . On the same day, Judge Sabraw issued a class-wide preliminary injunction in the Plaintiffs' favor. 415 F. Supp. 3d 971.

In March of 2020, Defendants appealed the preliminary injunction to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The appeal in this case was stayed pending the outcome of a separate Supreme Court case on the same issue, Wolf [or Pekoske] v. Innovation Law Lab. As the Clearinghouse summary of that case explains, the new Biden administration altered the policy in question and has sought dismissal. This case remains pending until Innovation Law Lab is resolved in the Supreme Court.

Bogyung Lim - 02/10/2020
John Duffield - 06/14/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Conditions of confinement
Confinement/isolation
Habeas Corpus
Over/Unlawful Detention
Pattern or Practice
Immigration/Border
Asylum - procedure
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Immigration lawyers
Refugees
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description A class consisting of “all individuals who are detained in CBP custody in California awaiting or undergoing non-refoulment interviews pursuant to what the government calls the 'Migrant Protection Protocols' program and who have retained lawyers.” 415 F. Supp. 3d 971.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2020 - n/a
Filed 11/05/2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-CA-0144 : Innovation Law Lab v. Nielsen (N.D. Cal.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Re: Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Executive Order 13767: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 27, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
Citation: 82 Fed. Reg. Presidential Documents 8793 (Jan. 27, 2017)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Executive Order 13768: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 25, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
S.D. Cal.
01/24/2020
3:19-cv-02119
IM-CA-0152-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
S.D. Cal.
11/05/2019
Complaint-Class Action and Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0152-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
11/12/2019
Order Granting Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 18] (415 F.Supp.3d 971)
IM-CA-0152-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
01/14/2020
Order Granting Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 39] (424 F.Supp.3d 1028)
IM-CA-0152-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
01/14/2020
Doe v. Wolf [ECF# 40] (432 F.Supp.3d 1200)
IM-CA-0152-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Sabraw, Dana Makoto (S.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0152-0003 | IM-CA-0152-0004 | IM-CA-0152-0005 | IM-CA-0152-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Langarica, Monika Yvette (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0152-0001 | IM-CA-0152-9000
Loy, John David (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0152-9000
Markovitz, Jonathan Paul (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0152-9000
Vakili, Bardis (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0152-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Church, Rebecca G. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0152-9000
Ramkumar, Archith (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0152-9000

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