University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name American Immigration Council v. United States Department of Homeland Security IM-DC-0019
Docket / Court 1:12-cv-00932 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On June 7, 2012, the American Immigration Council (AIC), a pro-immigration non-profit organization, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The AIC sued the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). On September 9, 2011, AIC had filed a Freedom of Information Act ( ... read more >
On June 7, 2012, the American Immigration Council (AIC), a pro-immigration non-profit organization, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The AIC sued the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). On September 9, 2011, AIC had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA, 5 U.SC. §1552) request with CBP to disclose all materials "prepared, received, transmitted, collected, and/or maintained" regarding their "voluntary return program," in which non-citizens can voluntarily return to their native country instead of being deported by CBP. AIC alleged that CBP had failed to inform prospective participants of the consequences of participation in the program, and even compelled individuals to participate. In response to the FOIA request, CBP had disclosed two documents, totaling four pages. Citing previous FOIA disclosures and publicly released documents that show additional available documents that CBP had failed to disclose, AIC sought a declaration that CBP violated FOIA and an order that CBP and any of its departments conduct a reasonable search for records of the voluntary return program.

Beginning on August 10, 2012, CBP began to and continued to provided the AIC with additional documents to supplement the original FOIA request. On April 21, 2014, the AIC agreed not to produce any further challenges and the parties entered into negotiations regarding attorneys' fees. The parties informed the Court (Judge Tanya S. Chutkan) on September 5, 2014, that they had reached a settlement, and the Court filed an Order of Dismissal to dismiss the action with prejudice. This case is now closed.

Dan Osher - 05/27/2013
Allison Hight - 11/06/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Records Disclosure
Immigration
Deportation - procedure
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
Plaintiff Description American Immigration Council is a pro-immigration non-profit organization, here seeking disclosure of DHS documents.
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
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2014
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)
1:12-cv-00932 (D.D.C.) 09/16/2014
IM-DC-0019-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 06/07/2012
IM-DC-0019-0001.pdf | Detail
Order of Dismissal 09/16/2014 (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0019-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Chutkan, Tanya Sue (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0019-0002 | IM-DC-0019-9001
Jackson, Ketanji Brown (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0019-9001
Sullivan, Emmet G. (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0019-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Crow, Melissa E. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0019-0001 | IM-DC-0019-9001
Lederer, Caryn C (Illinois)
IM-DC-0019-9001
Piers, Matthew J. (Illinois)
IM-DC-0019-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Kirschner, Adam D. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0019-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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