University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Human Rights First v. Wolf IM-DC-0091
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-03764 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
On December 21, 2020, Human Rights First, a nonprofit human rights organization, brought this lawsuit against then-Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf and others in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of refugees seeking to enter the United States for asylum ... read more >
On December 21, 2020, Human Rights First, a nonprofit human rights organization, brought this lawsuit against then-Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf and others in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of refugees seeking to enter the United States for asylum. Plaintiffs challenged a new rule promulgated by the Department of Homeland Security that sought to change applicants' eligibility for asylum. The new rule would have restricted who qualified as a refugee, which refugees were able to seek asylum, and how likely a given applicant could succeed in their claim. Represented by Williams and Connolly in D.C., plaintiffs alleged that the rule changes amounted to overturning legal precedent as well as being counter to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Refugee Act, and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Specifically, plaintiffs argued that the Department of Homeland Security acted contrary to existing legal authority, in excess of the Department’s given authority, in a manner inconsistent with how procedural rulemaking ought to occur, and without comprehensive consideration of the interests involved. Plaintiffs further argued that the rules were enacted by Wolf when the latter was without proper authority as the Acting Secretary. Plaintiffs thus sought declaratory and injunctive relief pertaining to their claims and to strike down the rules as well as attorneys’ fees. Judge Tanya S. Chutkan was assigned to the case.

On December 22, 2020, plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction. However, as a result of a nationwide preliminary injunction granted in the cases Pangea Legal Services v. DHS and Immigration Equality v. DHS on January 8, 2021, the motion in this case no longer required consideration.

On January 28, 2021, as a result of the administrative transition and in accordance with the aforementioned two cases, this case was held in abeyance pending the status report due in Pangea and Immigration Equality on April 19, 2021, so that the government could review and potentially revise the regulations at hand.


Matthew Feng - 03/12/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Immigration/Border
Asylum - criteria
Refugees
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description Non-profit human rights organization
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 12/21/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Court Docket(s)
D.D.C.
02/05/2021
1:20-cv-03764-TSC
IM-DC-0091-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: Office of the Director of National Intelligence
General Documents
D.D.C.
12/21/2020
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 12/21/2020]
IM-DC-0091-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
12/22/2020
Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 5]
IM-DC-0091-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Plaintiff's Lawyers Johnson, Melinda K (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0091-0001 | IM-DC-0091-0002 | IM-DC-0091-9000
Nino, Emma J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0091-0001 | IM-DC-0091-0002 | IM-DC-0091-9000
Reyes, Ana C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0091-0001 | IM-DC-0091-0002 | IM-DC-0091-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Greer, Christina P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0091-9000

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