University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name University of Oregon v. United States Department of Homeland Security IM-OR-0011
Docket / Court 6:20-cv-01127 ( D. Or. )
State/Territory Oregon
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 could 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 could risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. In a different lawsuit filed against the administration over the same July directive, plaintiffs met with counsel for the government and worked to get the regulations rescinded.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 which exempted students from the limitation on online learning credits in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The universities in this case later voluntarily dismissed their claims.


Background
Generally speaking, F-1 visas (colloquially "student visas") can be granted to international students who attend American universities. However, student visas have regulations that 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, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the defendant in this case, 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 meant that international students at schools that planned to conduct classes fully online would have to either transfer to another school that was at least partially in-person, return to their countries voluntarily, or risk deportation. The directive also ordered schools that had either transitioned fully online or decided not to have classes at all to submit an "operational change plan" within nine days. It also ordered schools with hybrid systems to certify each F-1 student to ensure that they were not taking entirely online courses.

The Lawsuit
Twenty public and private universities filed this lawsuit on July 13, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. The universities, represented by private counsel, sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and ICE. The universities alleged that the defendants violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) in two ways. First, the directive was arbitrary and capricious because it was not based in reasoned decision-making. Second, the directive was arbitrary and capricious because the supposed reasons behind it were only pretextual. The universities requested that the court grant declaratory relief calling the directive illegal. They also requested injunctive relief in the form of a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction that would prohibit the government from enforcing the new directive. They also asked that the court vacate and set aside the directive altogether. Finally, they requested reasonable costs and attorney's fees.

That same day, the universities also submitted a motion for summary judgment which largely followed the same arguments as the original complaint, and a motion to accelerate or expedite briefing and discovery.

On July 14, the case was assigned to Magistrate Judge Mustafa T. Kasubhai. Judge Kasubhai referred the motion for a temporary restraining order to Judge Michael J. McShane.

Meanwhile, in a different lawsuit filed against the administration over the same directive, President and Fellows of Harvard College, plaintiffs met with counsel for the government and worked to get the July 6 directive rescinded. Therefore, on July 15, Judge Kasubhai asked the parties in this case to confer to discuss how to proceed with the case.

On July 17, the parties jointly filed a status report. In order to effectuate the rescission of the July 6 directive, ICE removed the guidance from its website and replaced it with the previous guidance. The universities withdrew, without prejudice, the motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, the motion for summary judgment, and the motion to expedite or accelerate litigation.

After further discussions in light of concerns about student confusion over the current status of the regulations, ICE agreed to issue new guidance and information on its website providing clarification that the original guidance from March is once again in effect. The universities reserved concerns that the new guidance might allow ICE to prevent individuals with valid student visas from entering the country if they are new students and intend to take only online courses during the fall semester.

The universities filed a notice of voluntary dismissal on August 26, 2020.

Jack Hibbard - 07/15/2020
Chandler Hart-McGonigle - 11/28/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
COVID-19
Mitigation Denied
Mitigation Requested
Release Denied
Release Requested
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
Non-profit 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 U. of Utah, Claremont McKenna College, U. of San Francisco, Scripps College, Arizona State U., Pomona College, U. of Arizona, U. of Oregon, Northern Arizona U., Seattle U., U. of the Pacific, Saint Mary's College of California, Stanford U., Oregon State U., California Institute of Technology, Chapman U., Pitzer College, President and Board of Trustees of Santa Clara College, U. of San Diego, U. of Southern California
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 07/13/2020
Case Closing Year 2020
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing IM-CA-0165 : The Regents of the University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0166 : Z.W. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0167 : State of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Cal.)
IM-WA-0045 : State of Washington v. United States Department of Homeland Security (W.D. Wash.)
IM-MA-0020 : President and Fellows of Harvard College v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0021 : Commonwealth of Massachusetts et al v. United States Department of Homeland Security (D. Mass.)
IM-DC-0081 : Johns Hopkins University v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D.D.C.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
D. Or.
08/27/2020
6:20-cv-01127
IM-OR-0011-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Or.
07/13/2020
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-OR-0011-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Or.
07/13/2020
Plaintiffs' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 2]
IM-OR-0011-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Or.
07/13/2020
Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 12]
IM-OR-0011-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Or.
07/13/2020
Plaintiffs' Motion for Expedited Briefing and Discovery [ECF# 22]
IM-OR-0011-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Kasubhai, Mustafa T. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dettmer, Ethan D. (California) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004 | IM-OR-0011-9000
Evangelis, Theane (California) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004 | IM-OR-0011-9000
Fong, Oliver Joe (New York) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004 | IM-OR-0011-9000
Gose, Rebecca (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004 | IM-OR-0011-9000
Hill, Whitney (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0001 | IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004
McGill, Matthew Dempsey (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004 | IM-OR-0011-9000
Olson, Theodore B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004 | IM-OR-0011-9000
Park, David D. (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004 | IM-OR-0011-9000
Penry, Julie (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0001 | IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004
Price, Jessica (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0001 | IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004
Reed, Kevin S. (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004 | IM-OR-0011-9000
Southwell, Alexander H. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004 | IM-OR-0011-9000
Thomas, Chelsea Mae (California) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004 | IM-OR-0011-9000
Wesneski, Joshua Morgan (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004 | IM-OR-0011-9000
Yang, Deborah W. (California) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-0002 | IM-OR-0011-0003 | IM-OR-0011-0004 | IM-OR-0011-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Conti, Patrick J. (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-9000
Rice-Stitt, Austin (Oregon) show/hide docs
IM-OR-0011-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -