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Case Name Lewis-Mota v. Secretary of Labor IM-NY-0032
Docket / Court 71 Civ. 469 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
In 1971, aliens who sought entry into the U.S. to work and live as permanent residents filed a class action lawsuit under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenging certain procedures of the Department of ... read more >
In 1971, aliens who sought entry into the U.S. to work and live as permanent residents filed a class action lawsuit under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenging certain procedures of the Department of Labor in connection with the entry of aliens for the purpose of working in the U.S.

To gain entry, the aliens needed a visa and a certification by the Department of Labor that (a) there were insufficient domestic workers for the job in question and that (b) the alien's admission would not adversely impact other similarly situated American workers. As part of the certification process, the Labor Department published schedules ("A," "B" and "C") that listed various occupations. Schedule C listed American jobs for which labor was scarce. Aliens seeking entry to work in a job listed on Schedule C were not required to have a specific job offer, nor were they required to submit a statement of his qualifications in order to receive a Department of Labor certification. In 1969, the Labor Department issued a new Schedule C which included a "Precertification List" of jobs for which aliens would be given priority visa approval. On February 9, 1970, the Department suspended the use of the Schedule C "Precertification List," without first publishing notice in the Federal Register. Plaintiffs alleged that the Labor Department's actions in that regard violated the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq.

The District Court (Judge Milton Pollack) dismissed the plaintiffs' complaint for failure to state a claim. Lewis-Mota v. Secretary of Labor, 337 F.Supp. 1289 (S.D.N.Y. 1972). Plaintiffs appealed.

The Court of Appeals, (Circuit Judge Oakes) reversed and remanded, holding that as the directive sought to change existing rights of aliens, it should have been subject to the public comment procedure of the Administrative Procedure Act, which included prior publication in the Federal Register. Since the directive was not published in Federal Register, it was deemed invalid until 30 days after it was actually published on February 4, 1971, but valid thereafter. Lewis-Mota v. Secretary of Labor, 469 F.2d 478 (2nd Cir. 1972).

On remand the District Court entered a judgment which defined the Lewis-Mota class as consisting of "all those aliens who establish, to the satisfaction of the appropriate consular officer, by the production of their original labor precertification endorsed by a consular officer or a true copy thereof, that they were precertified or certified under Schedule C Lists published on or before January 23, 1969, and further, that their priority position would have been reached by March 4, 1971." If class members applied for a visa within two years from the date of the judgment, they were deemed to have satisfied the Department of Labor's certification requirement.

We have no further information on the case.

Dan Dalton - 11/17/2007


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Employment
Temporary foreign workers program
Work authorization - criteria
Work authorization - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Labor
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Plaintiff Description All aliens who established that they were precertified or certified under Schedule C Lists published on or before January 23, 1969, and further, that their priority position would have been reached by March 4, 1971.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1972 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing IM-NY-0033 : Veras-Mejia v. Brennan (S.D.N.Y.)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion (District Court) 02/08/1972 (337 F.Supp. 1289) (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0032-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 11/15/1972 (469 F.2d 478)
IM-NY-0032-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Hays, Paul Raymond (Second Circuit)
IM-NY-0032-0002
Oakes, James Lowell (Second Circuit, D. Vt.)
IM-NY-0032-0002
Pollack, Milton (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0032-0001
Timbers, William Homer (Second Circuit, D. Conn.)
IM-NY-0032-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Martinez, Antonio C (New York)
IM-NY-0032-0001 | IM-NY-0032-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Marro, Joseph P. (New York)
IM-NY-0032-0001 | IM-NY-0032-0002
Seymour, Whitney North (New York)
IM-NY-0032-0001 | IM-NY-0032-0002
Wallenstein, Stanley H. (New York)
IM-NY-0032-0001 | IM-NY-0032-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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