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Case Name Aguilar v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement IM-MA-0004
Docket / Court 1:07-cv-10471-RGS ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Immigration
Attorney Organization ACLU National Prison Project
Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On March 8, 2007, attorneys with the Greater Boston Legal Services, the American Civil Liberties Union, and private firms filed a habeas corpus petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, challenging the seizure, detention, and transportation of undocumented workers that ... read more >
On March 8, 2007, attorneys with the Greater Boston Legal Services, the American Civil Liberties Union, and private firms filed a habeas corpus petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, challenging the seizure, detention, and transportation of undocumented workers that were swept up in a massive workplace raid conducted on March 6, 2007 by agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security. The raid, which was code named "Operation United Front," targeted suspected undocumented workers at the Michael Bianco, Inc. leather goods factory in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In the process of the raid, ICE officials detained five company managers and 360 workers. The detainees were initially held in Massachusetts and some were later transferred to holding facilities in Harlingen and El Paso, Texas.

Carlos Enrique Avila Sandoval, the Consul General of Guatemala was the named petitioner, acting as the "next friend" of the detainees. Petitioner sought a temporary restraining order to halt further transfers of the detainees outside of Massachusetts, claiming that the detainees were being deliberately transferred out of state to defeat the jurisdiction of the Court.

The District Court (Judge Richard G. Stearns) held an emergency hearing on the evening of March 8, 2007 and issued a TRO, stopping all further out-of-state transfers and instructing the government not to unduly restrictions the detainees' access to counsel, pending resolution of whether the Court had jurisdiction over the case. The government maintained that it did not, and the Court ordered the parties to fully brief that issue. The complaint was subsequently amended on March 13, 2007 to include class action allegations. The government moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

A series of hearings followed regarding discovery and detainee transfers pending the Court's ruling on the jurisdictional challenge.

On May 7, 2007, Judge Stearns granted the government's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, holding that the REAL ID Act of 2005 which amended certain parts of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1252, stripped the District Court of jurisdiction to hear petitioners' claims. He indicated that the petitioners would have to challenge any alleged violations of their rights by seeking review either through the administrative system or court of appeals after the conclusion of removal proceedings. Petitioners appealed.

On November 27, 2007, the First Circuit Court of Appeals [Judges Michael Boudin, Bruce M. Selya, Jeffrey R. Howard] affirmed the district court decision that petitioners lacked subject matter jurisdiction. Aguilar v. U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Div. of Dep't of Homeland Sec., 510 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2007).

Dan Dalton - 11/18/2007
Jennifer Bronson - 11/28/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Habeas Corpus
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Employer sanctions
Employment
ICE/DHS/INS raid
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division (ICE)
Plaintiff Description Approximately 350 undocumented New Bedford immigrants who were detained as a result of a workplace raid
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU National Prison Project
Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
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)
1:07-cv-10471-RGS (D. Mass.) 02/12/2008
IM-MA-0004-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 03/08/2007
IM-MA-0004-0001 PDF | Detail
Petitioners' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction and Emergency Motion for Expedited Hearing 03/08/2007
IM-MA-0004-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum in Support of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction and Emergency Motion for Expedited Hearing 03/08/2007
IM-MA-0004-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opposition to Motion for Temporary Restraining Order 03/09/2007
IM-MA-0004-0004 PDF | Detail
Order [Granting TRO] 03/09/2007 (2007 WL 757871) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0004-0005 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Request For Discovery 04/06/2007 (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0004-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Motion to Dismiss 05/07/2007 (490 F.Supp.2d 42) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0004-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 11/28/2007
IM-MA-0004-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Selya, Bruce Marshall (FISCR, First Circuit, D.R.I.)
IM-MA-0004-0008
Stearns, Richard Gaylore (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0004-0005 | IM-MA-0004-0006 | IM-MA-0004-0007 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bonn, Bernard J. (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0004-0001 | IM-MA-0004-0002 | IM-MA-0004-0003 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Kaplan, Harvey (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0004-0001 | IM-MA-0004-0002 | IM-MA-0004-0003 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Kelly, Nancy (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0004-0001 | IM-MA-0004-0002 | IM-MA-0004-0003
Lyons, Matthew M. (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0004-9000
Reinstein, John (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0004-9000
Rotolo, Laura (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0004-9000
Shin, Michael S. (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0004-0001 | IM-MA-0004-0002 | IM-MA-0004-0003 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Sniffin, Ondine (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0004-0001 | IM-MA-0004-0002 | IM-MA-0004-0003
Willshire, John E. (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0004-0001 | IM-MA-0004-0002 | IM-MA-0004-0003 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Crowley, Frank (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0004-0004 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Grady, Mark J. (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0004-9000
Smith, Barbara Healy (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0004-0004 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Stevens, Elizabeth Jones (District of Columbia)
IM-MA-0004-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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