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Case Name AsylumWorks v. Wolf IM-DC-0092
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-03815 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
This is a case about a change of rules by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which curtailed access to employment authorization documents (EADs) by asylum seekers. On December 23, 2020, three nonprofit organizations and fourteen noncitizen asylum seekers filed this lawsuit in United States ... read more >
This is a case about a change of rules by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which curtailed access to employment authorization documents (EADs) by asylum seekers. On December 23, 2020, three nonprofit organizations and fourteen noncitizen asylum seekers filed this lawsuit in United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sued DHS, the Secretary of DHS, and General Counsel for DHS under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Represented by National Immigrant Justice Center, the plaintiffs sought injunctive relief to vacate two agency rules that curtailed access to EADs. Specially, they claimed that the rules changed by DHS were arbitrary and capricious and contrary to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). They also claimed that Acting DHS Secretary was not validly serving as Acting DHS Secretary under the Homeland Security Act, Federal Vacancies Reform Act, and the Appointments Clause of the Constitution when he signed the rules. The case was assigned to Judge Beryl Howell.

The challenged Timeline Repeal Rule removed the requirement that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) respond to an application for EAD within 30 days of filing, which resulted in asylum seekers waiting indefinitely for a decision on their application. The challenged EAD Bar Rule included USCIS regulations which created additional barriers to asylum applicants’ access to work authorization. The complaint detailed the critical role that EADs serve in assisting asylum seekers to obtain government services, housing, healthcare, and work.

The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on March 23, 2021, adding five additional individual plaintiffs and removing one. The amended complaint also addressed pertinent events that occurred subsequent to the initial complaints’ filing, such as personnel changes in DHS and the Secretary’s attempt to ratify the rules in January 2021.

Subsequently, on April 22, 2021, the defendants filed a motion to stay prior to filing an answer. In denying the stay on June 1, the court rejected the defendants’ arguments that the parallel proceedings in ​​Casa de Maryland v. Mayorkas and changes in DHS leadership might moot or reshape the case. According to the court, the potential impact of the Maryland court’s decision here was too speculative in both timing and scope, and defendants offered no evidence that DHS planned to alter or repeal the rules. 2021 WL 2227335.

The asylum seekers filed a motion for partial summary judgment on June 9, 2021, and the defendants filed a motion for partial summary judgment on July 28,2021. The case is ongoing.

Emma Mertens - 09/29/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Government Services (specify)
Immigration/Border
Asylum - procedure
Employment
Work authorization - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Acting General Counsel
Department of Homeland Security
Secretary of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description three nonprofit organizations and eighteen noncitizen asylum seekers
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 12/23/2020
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)
  AsylumWorks v. Wolf
UC Hastings College of the Law
Date: Jun. 2, 2021
By: UC Hastings College of the Law Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (UC Hastings College of the Law)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
D.D.C.
09/08/2021
1:20-cv-03815-BAH
IM-DC-0092-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D.D.C.
12/23/2020
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 3]
IM-DC-0092-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
03/23/2021
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 12]
IM-DC-0092-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
06/01/2021
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 22] (2021 WL 2227335)
IM-DC-0092-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Howell, Beryl Alaine (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0003 | IM-DC-0092-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Acharya, Deepa (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002
Borroto, Gianna (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002
Caldarone, Richard (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002
Carpenter, Julie (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002
Crook, Jamie Lorraine (California) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002
Daher, Annie (California) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002
Fleming, Mark (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002
Hoy, Nicholas A. S. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002
McGrail, Brian (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002
Shuchart, Scott (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002
Spilly, Carl (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002
Whitmer, Tyler (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002
Wylegala, Wendy (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002
Zwick, Keren Hart (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0092-0001 | IM-DC-0092-0002

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