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Case Name The Regents of the University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security IM-CA-0165
Docket / Court 4:20-cv-04621 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Education
Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by the University of California regents regarding the July 2020 release of ICE regulations which, in effect, meant that students on F-1 visas would risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. In a different lawsuit filed against the ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by the University of California regents regarding the July 2020 release of ICE regulations which, in effect, meant that students on F-1 visas would risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. In a different lawsuit filed against the administration over the same July directive, the plaintiffs met with counsel for the government and worked to get the regulations rescinded. In order to effectuate the rescission, ICE removed the guidance from its website and replaced it with the previous guidance and as a result, plaintiffs withdrew their motion for a preliminary injunction. The plaintiffs in this case continued to monitor the alterations ICE made to its website between July and September and filed a notice of voluntary dismissal on October 6, 2020.


Background
Generally speaking, F-1 visas (colloquially "student visas") can be granted to international students who attend American universities. However, regulations on the granting of these visas limit the amount of online or distance learning the student can engage in. According to these regulations, an international student can engage in only one such class or three credits of that class per semester. 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G).

The COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020 made this regulation untenable, as schools and universities had to shift to online learning systems. In response, defendant ICE issued an exemption on March 13, 2020, affirming that international students would be permitted to continue distance learning in the United States under their F-1 visas. The exemption would apply until the end of the emergency. However, on July 6, 2020, ICE issued a new directive stating that it would rescind that exemption. This directive would then mean that international students at schools that would still be fully online would have to either transfer to other schools that were at least partially in-person, go back to their countries voluntarily, or risk deportation. The directive also ordered schools that had gone fully online or had simply decided not to have classes to submit an "operational change plan" within nine days, and ordered schools that would have a hybrid system to certify each F-1 student to make sure that they were not taking entirely online courses.

The Lawsuit
In response to the new directive, The Regents of the University of California filed this lawsuit on July 10, 2020. They were represented by private and in-house counsel. The University sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Plaintiffs argued that the new directive violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in two ways. First, the directive was arbitrary and capricious. According to the plaintiffs, the directive failed to consider important aspects of the problem. It also did not address the reliance interests of higher education institutions that put resources into devising public health and safety plans for the upcoming year and it lacked any reasonable basis for the shift in policy. Second, the plaintiffs claimed that defendants failed to comply with notice-and-comment rulemaking procedures when they issued the new directive which violated the APA. Plaintiffs sought declaratory relief, an order vacating and setting aside the new directive, an order preventing the defendants from enforcing the the directive, and attorney's fees and costs.

Simultaneously, the plaintiffs submitted an ex parte motion for a temporary restraining order to enjoin the defendants from enforcing the new policy. They also filed a motion to shorten the time for consideration of the temporary restraining order and argued that the court must take immediate action to avoid doing irreparable harm to the academic community. The case was assigned to Judge Jeffrey S. White after plaintiffs decline to proceed before a magistrate judge.

On July 13, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. The next day the case was related to State of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security and re-assigned to Judge Jon S. Tigar.

On July 14, the parties filed a joint stipulation that stated that because the government agreed to rescind the July directive by removing it from its website and replacing it with the March guidance, California's claims were therefore mooted, and the state agreed to withdraw its motion for a preliminary injunction.

Over the next two months, the plaintiffs continued to monitor the changes ICE made to its website in order to fully effectuate the rescission and submitted status reports to the court.

On October 6, 2020, the plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal and the case is now closed.

Jack Hibbard - 07/11/2020
Chandler Hart-McGonigle - 11/29/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
School/University Facilities
School/University policies
Immigration/Border
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - procedure
Visas - criteria
Visas - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) United States Department of Homeland Security
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description Regents of University of California
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 07/10/2020
Case Closing Year 2020
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing IM-MA-0020 : President and Fellows of Harvard College v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D. Mass.)
IM-WA-0045 : State of Washington v. United States Department of Homeland Security (W.D. Wash.)
IM-CA-0166 : Z.W. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (C.D. Cal.)
IM-DC-0081 : Johns Hopkins University v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D.D.C.)
IM-CA-0167 : State of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Cal.)
IM-MA-0021 : Commonwealth of Massachusetts et al v. United States Department of Homeland Security (D. Mass.)
IM-OR-0011 : University of Oregon v. United States Department of Homeland Security (D. Or.)
Court Docket(s)
N.D. Cal.
10/06/2020
3:20-cv-4621
IM-CA-0165-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Cal.
07/10/2020
Plaintiff's Ex Parte Motion for Temporary Restraining Order; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof [ECF# 4-1 to 4-4, 4-7 to 4-9, & 4-11]
IM-CA-0165-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
07/10/2020
Plaintiff the Regents of the University of California's Ex Parte Motion for Order Shortening Time Re: Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause Re: Preliminary Injunction; Declaration of Jennifer S. Romano in Support Thereof [ECF# 5]
IM-CA-0165-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
07/10/2020
Plaintiff The Regents of the University of California's Ex Parte Motion for Order Shortening Time Re: Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Order to show Cause Re: Preliminary Injunction; Declaration of Jennifer S. Romano in Support Thereof [ECF# 5 & 5-1]
IM-CA-0165-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
07/13/2020
Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction: Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof [ECF# 14]
IM-CA-0165-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Tigar, Jon Steven (State Trial Court, N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0165-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chun, Marisa A (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0165-0002 | IM-CA-0165-0005 | IM-CA-0165-9000
Jones, Molly A. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0165-0002 | IM-CA-0165-0003 | IM-CA-0165-0004 | IM-CA-0165-0005 | IM-CA-0165-9000
Kuwahara, Emily Tomoko (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0165-0002 | IM-CA-0165-0003 | IM-CA-0165-0004 | IM-CA-0165-0005 | IM-CA-0165-9000
Lorenzen, Thomas A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0165-0002 | IM-CA-0165-0003 | IM-CA-0165-0004 | IM-CA-0165-0005
Robinson, Charles Furlonge (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0165-0002 | IM-CA-0165-0003 | IM-CA-0165-0004 | IM-CA-0165-0005 | IM-CA-0165-9000
Romano, Jennifer Salzman (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0165-0002 | IM-CA-0165-0003 | IM-CA-0165-0004 | IM-CA-0165-0005 | IM-CA-0165-9000
Sanchez, Sonya U. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0165-0002 | IM-CA-0165-0003 | IM-CA-0165-0004 | IM-CA-0165-0005 | IM-CA-0165-9000
Wolff, Daniel W (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0165-0002 | IM-CA-0165-0003 | IM-CA-0165-0004 | IM-CA-0165-0005
Woodall, Allison M. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0165-0002 | IM-CA-0165-0003 | IM-CA-0165-0004 | IM-CA-0165-0005 | IM-CA-0165-9000
Wu, Margaret Louisa (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0165-0002 | IM-CA-0165-0003 | IM-CA-0165-0004 | IM-CA-0165-0005 | IM-CA-0165-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Kurlan, Elizabeth D. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0165-9000
Winslow, Sara (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0165-9000

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