University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name E.A.R.R. v. Department of Homeland Security IM-CA-0171
Docket / Court 3:20-cv-02146 ( S.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
Attorney Organization Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Case Summary
On November 2, 2020, asylum seekers with disabilities and health conditions filed this putative class-action suit against the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Southern District of California. The suit alleged that defendants violated the Administrative ... read more >
On November 2, 2020, asylum seekers with disabilities and health conditions filed this putative class-action suit against the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Southern District of California. The suit alleged that defendants violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 by forcibly returning plaintiffs to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols (the “MPP”). Under the MPP, asylum seekers entering the United States from Mexico were returned to Mexico and waited outside the U.S. for the duration of their immigration proceedings. The plaintiffs stated that MPP conflicted with CBP’s own procedure at the time that asylum seekers with “known physical or mental health issues” cannot be sent to Mexico. They alleged that DHS failed to put in place effective methods to ensure that people with known physical or mental health conditions were exempt from MPP and to identify and assess, for accommodations, immigrants with disabilities. The plaintiffs sought an order enjoining the defendants from continuing forcible removal of class members under MPP and requiring the defendants to put in place practices and procedures in compliance with Section 504. They also requested attorneys’ fees. The plaintiffs were represented by the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, Texas Civil Rights Project, and private counsel. The case was assigned to Judge Todd W. Robinson and Magistrate Judge Bernard G. Skomal.

On November 3, 2020, the case was related to Doe v. McAleenan, docket number 3:19-cv-2119, (IM-CA-0152 in the Clearinghouse). This case similarly challenged deportation under MPP.

On December 22, 2020, the defendants filed a motion to stay pending the appeal of a separate case. The judge denied the motion on February 19, 2021. There were joint motions to continue on March 2, 2021.

On December 23, 2020, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction. They requested that defendants stop subjecting members of the putative class to the MPP. They further requested that defendants put in place mechanisms ensuring CBP’s protocols of exempting those with known physical or mental health issues was being carried out, that family members of the putative class were also excluded pursuant to the Family Unit Policy, and that defendants put in place practices and policies to identify immigrants with disabilities and provide accommodations necessary for those with disabilities to prepare for their asylum proceedings. On the same day, the plaintiffs also filed a motion requesting class certification for asylum seekers with disabilities and their family members.

On February 22, 2021, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. As of March 12, 2021, there has not been a ruling on the motion.

This summary is up-to-date as of March 12, 2021 and the case is ongoing.

Kennon Wales - 03/05/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Effective Communication (ADA)
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Immigration/Border
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - procedure
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Customs and Border Protection
Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description Migrants with disabilities and health conditions and their family members who have been forcibly removed to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 11/02/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Implementation of Executive Order 13768, "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
The Washington Post
Date: May 22, 2017
By: Jefferson Sessions (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  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.
02/16/2021
3:20-cv-02146-TWR-BGS
IM-CA-0171-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
S.D. Cal.
11/02/2020
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0171-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Robinson, Todd Wallace (S.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-9000
Skomal, Bernard G Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fox, Timothy Patrick (Colorado) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-0001
Gonzalez Morales, Maria Del Pilar (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-0001 | IM-CA-0171-9000
Jordan, Elizabeth B. (Colorado) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-9000
Mao, Lillian J (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-0001 | IM-CA-0171-9000
Marziani, Mimi Murray Digby (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-0001 | IM-CA-0171-9000
O'Connor, Carolyn (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-0001
Olivares, Efren Carlos (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-0001
Peterson, Nicholas (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-9000
Shwarts, Robert S (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-0001 | IM-CA-0171-9000
Thorn-Vela, Erin D (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-0001 | IM-CA-0171-9000
Vargas, Karla (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Starita, Paul L (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0171-9000

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