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Case Name AFL-CIO v. Chertoff IM-CA-0054
Docket / Court 3:07-cv-04472-CRB ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On August 29, 2007, the AFL-CIO and local San Francisco labor organizations, represented by the ACLU of Northern California, the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, the National Immigration Law Center and private cooperating attorneys, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the ... read more >
On August 29, 2007, the AFL-CIO and local San Francisco labor organizations, represented by the ACLU of Northern California, the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, the National Immigration Law Center and private cooperating attorneys, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to challenge a new Department of Homeland Security rule entitled "Safe Harbor Procedures for Employers that Receive a No Match Letter." In the past, the Social Security Administration had periodically sent out "no-match" letters to inform employers that employee names on W-2 forms submitted by the employer did not match with assigned Social Security numbers. Those letters were deemed advisory and imposed no duties on employers. Under the new rule, if an employer receives a "no match" letter," the employer is required to give the employee 90 days to resolve the data discrepancy with the Social Security Administration or potentially face termination. Failure of employers to take necessary action can subject the employer to certain liabilities.

Plaintiffs took the position that the new rule was beyond the authority of Homeland Security, which was attempting to use data maintained by the Social Security Administration for immigration enforcement. Plaintiffs predicted that the new rule would wreak havoc on employers and jeopardize the jobs of employees legally working in the U.S., on account of clerical errors and other problems with data kept by the Social Security Administration.

Immediately after filing the complaint, Plaintiffs filed a request that the court issue a TRO and preliminary injunction. The District Court (Judge Maxine M. Chesney) issued a TRO on August 31, 2007, enjoining the Department of Homeland Security from implementing the rule pending further hearings on the matter.

Following a hearing, the District Court (Judge Charles R. Breyer) issued a preliminary injunction, Am. Fed'n of Labor v. Chertoff, 552 F. Supp. 2d 999 (N.D. Cal. 2007), and ordered the parties to meet and confer on the form of the injunction, and submit a proposed order by October 12, 2007.

In November 2007, DHS moved to stay proceedings while the agency conducted additional rulemaking proceedings on the Safe Harbor Provision. Defendants planned to address the issues raised by the court by preparing a Regulatory Flexibility Act analysis. Defendants expected to complete the rulemaking proceedings by March 2008 and requested the court to stay proceedings until then. In December 2007, the court granted defendant's motion to stay proceedings.

That same month, defendants appealed the preliminary injunction order to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals [07-17241]. In November 2008, the circuit court granted appellants' motion to dismiss the appeal (Circuit Mediator Margaret A. Corrigan).

On October 23, 2008, DHS announced the completion of the additional rulemaking proceedings. Plaintiffs argued that the proposed rule would still improperly use social security records for immigration enforcement. They therefore opposed defendants' motion for summary judgment.

On July 9, 2009, DHS announced its intention to initiate rulemaking proceedings to rescind the Safe Harbor Rule. Because recision of the Safe Harbor Rule would moot the litigation, defendants filed an unopposed motion to stay the litigation pending the completion of rulemaking proceedings. The court granted defendants' motion and stayed proceedings until February 2010.

On October 7, 2009, DHS issued a final rule rescinding the Social Security "no match" rule. The next month, the parties stipulated that the preliminary injunction should be vacated and that the action should be dismissed as moot. On November 18, 2009, the court vacated the preliminary injunction and dismissed the case as moot.

Dan Dalton - 09/18/2007
Jennifer Bronson - 11/29/2013

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional rights
Employer sanctions
Work authorization - criteria
Work authorization - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Homeland Security
Social Security Administration
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description AFL-CIO and local San Francisco labor organizations
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2009
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 ]

3:07-cv-04472-CRB (N.D. Cal.) 11/18/2009
IM-CA-0054-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 08/28/2007
IM-CA-0054-0001 PDF | Detail
Memorandum in Support of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction 08/29/2007
IM-CA-0054-0002 PDF | Detail
AFL-CIO, ACLU and National Immigration Law Center Challenge New Homeland Security Rule 08/29/2007
IM-CA-0054-0004 PDF | Detail
Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause Re:Preliminary Injunction 08/31/2007 (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0054-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion for Preliminary Injunction 10/10/2007 (552 F.Supp.2d 999) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0054-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint 10/19/2007
IM-CA-0054-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Stay Proceedings Pending New Rulemaking 11/23/2007
IM-CA-0054-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Vacate Status Conference and Proposed Order 10/23/2008
IM-CA-0054-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Unopposed Motion to Stay This Action Pending the Completion of Rulemaking Proceedings on the Safe Harbor Rule 07/17/2009
IM-CA-0054-0009 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order Dismissing Action as Moot 11/18/2009 (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0054-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Breyer, Charles R. (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0054-0005 | IM-CA-0054-0010 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Chesney, Maxine M. (N.D. Cal.)
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Avendaño, Ana L. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Berzon, Stephen P. (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Brennan, Shane (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0054-0006 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Chang, Jennifer (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Charrow, Robert Phillip (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0054-0006 | IM-CA-0054-0010 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Chawla, Manjari (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Conrad, Robin S. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0054-0006 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Coppess, James B. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Goines, William J. (California)
IM-CA-0054-0006 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Guizar, Monica T. (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Guttentag, Lucas (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Hamilton, Cindy (District of Columbia)
Hiatt, Jonathan P. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Hincapie, Marielena (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Joaquin, Linton (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Klaus, Laura Metcoff (District of Columbia)
Kronland, Scott A. (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-0010 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Leonard, Danielle E. (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Lye, Linda (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Mass, Julia Harumi (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Newell, Jennifer Chang (California)
Preciado, Nora (California)
Ramírez, Mónica M. (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Reiff, Laura Foote (District of Columbia)
Rosenfeld, David Albert (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Rosenthal, Karen (California)
IM-CA-0054-0006 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Schlosser, Alan Lawrence (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Weissglass, Jonathan (California)
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Beane, Eric Joseph (District of Columbia)
Bensing, Daniel (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0054-0007 | IM-CA-0054-0008 | IM-CA-0054-0009 | IM-CA-0054-0010 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Bucholtz, Jeffrey S. (District of Columbia)
Dupree, Thomas H. Jr. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0054-0007 | IM-CA-0054-0008 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Katsas, Gregory G. (District of Columbia)
Lee, Jonathan Unruh (California)
Monrad, Phillip C. (California)
IM-CA-0054-0010 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Ross, Matthew D. (California)
Russoniello, Joseph R. (California)
IM-CA-0054-0008 | IM-CA-0054-0009 | IM-CA-0054-0010
Schools, Scott N (South Carolina)
Schraibman, Sandra M. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0054-0007 | IM-CA-0054-0008 | IM-CA-0054-0009 | IM-CA-0054-0010
West, Tony (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0054-0009 | IM-CA-0054-0010
Other Lawyers Claxton, Linda (California)
Rice, Cynthia Louise (California)
Weinberg, Robert M. (District of Columbia)

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