On November 30, 1988, alien workers who had applied for special status under the Special Agricultural Workers (SAW) legalization program created by the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1160 et seq., filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California to ...
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On November 30, 1988, alien workers who had applied for special status under the Special Agricultural Workers (SAW) legalization program created by the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1160 et seq., filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California to enjoin federal border agents from detaining and questioning them with regard to their underlying applications. Plaintiffs were represented by attorneys with the California Rural Legal Assistance, the ACLU Foundation of San Diego and Imperial Counties Inc. and private counsel.
The SAW program allowed undocumented alien farmworkers to attain temporary and then permanent resident status under certain circumstances. Once applicants filed a complete SAW application, were interviewed by an INS legalization officer, and had their application accepted, they were issued an "I-688A" document authorizing employment and travel abroad pending final approval of their application. Applicants that filed preliminary applications for SAW status at the ports of entry and were interviewed received an "I-94" document, endorsed as "S-9", authorizing employment and temporary admission into the U.S. to enable them to gather information and documents in support of a full SAW application. Plaintiffs challenged treatment of aliens who possessed either I-688A documents or I-94 documents.
Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction to enjoin border agents and non-legalization INS officers from: 1) detaining SAW applicants and confiscating their I-688A and I-94 documents at or near the U.S./Mexican border; 2) questioning applicants with regards to alleged fraud in the underlying application; and 3) permitting applicants to enter only under a "parole" status. Plaintiffs also requested class certification.
On May 1, 1989, the parties entered into a Stipulated Consent Order which resolved all issues, except plaintiffs' request that border agents be prohibited from questioning applicants about their SAW applications. Plaintiffs maintained that as the information submitted in a SAW application was deemed confidential by statute, agents should not be permitted to question applicants about it. The District Court (Judge J. L. Irving) refused to grant an injunction on that issue. Lopez v. Ezell,716 F.Supp. 443 S.D.Cal.,1989.
Defendants' moved to dismiss the remaining unresolved claim. That motion was denied by order dated May 14, 1990. The District Court referred the case to Magistrate Judge Barry T. Moskowitz to supervise discovery.
On May 30, 1991, the parties settled the remaining claim. Formal court approval of the settlement occurred on September 16, 1991. Defendants subsequently agreed to pay $58,000.00 in attorneys' fees and costs.
On January 27, 1992, District Judge Marilyn L. Huff granted the parties joint motion for voluntary dismissal and the case was terminated.Dan Dalton - 11/06/2007