University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name American Immigration Council v. DHS IM-NY-0050
Docket / Court 14-cv-8403 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On October 21, 2014, the American Immigration Council, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and American Civil Liberties Union filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (� ... read more >
On October 21, 2014, the American Immigration Council, National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and American Civil Liberties Union filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, the National Immigration Law Center, the American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Project/NLG and the ACLU Foundation Immigrants’ Rights Project sought injunctive and declaratory relief as well as reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants failed to disclose documents regarding information and practices in an Artesia, New Mexico immigration detention center. Specifically, the defendants failed to disclose information concerning the expedited removal of families Artesia after 2014.

There had been growing concern about the policies, procedures and practices related to the implementation of the expedited removal process in Artesia, sparking major concern from the media and the public. The facility in Artesia held women and minor children who had fled Central America, seeking refuge in the United States. Many of these migrants fled persecution and extreme danger in their home countries, and sought asylum in the U.S. However, some of these families have since been deported back to the countries from which they had fled, raising concern about the removal process. The plaintiffs sought to examine the extent to which these women and children had valid claims of asylum and if these families were receiving the process required by law. In order to understand this process, the plaintiffs submitted FOIA requests to each of the defendants for any agency records that the defendants prepared, received, transmitted, collected or maintained that concerned the policies, procedures and guidelines with respect to the Immigration and Nationality Act as well as a request for expedited processing. However, none of the defendants had made any determination as to whether they would comply with the plaintiffs’ request for the documents. The defendants also denied the plaintiffs request for expedited processing, even though the plaintiffs claimed that these documents were necessary to educate the public about time critical government activities.

On February 13, 2015 Judge Lorna G. Schofield ordered that each of the defendants must review 500 pages per month (750 for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and produce any responsive documents on the 25th day of each month until they produced all responsive documents that it had gathered.

The case is currently ongoing.

Matt Ramirez - 05/31/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Conditions of confinement
Confinement/isolation
Placement in detention facilities
Immigration
Asylum - criteria
Asylum - procedure
Constitutional rights
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - procedure
Detention - conditions
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Immigration lawyers
Refugees
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) United States Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description The American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and the American Civil Liberties Union on the behalf of women and minor children in a New Mexico detention center.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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)
1:14-cv-08403-LGS (E.D.N.Y.) 04/20/2016
IM-NY-0050-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
COmplaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 10/21/2014
IM-NY-0050-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Schofield, Lorna Gail (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0050-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Crow, Melissa E. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0050-0001 | IM-NY-0050-9000
Huerta, Alvaro M. (California)
IM-NY-0050-9000
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York)
IM-NY-0050-0001
Keaney, Melissa S. (California)
IM-NY-0050-9000
Newell, Jennifer Chang (California)
IM-NY-0050-0001 | IM-NY-0050-9000
Price, Matthew E. (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0050-0001 | IM-NY-0050-9000
Realmuto, Trina (Massachusetts)
IM-NY-0050-0001 | IM-NY-0050-9000
Ross, Michael W. (New York)
IM-NY-0050-0001 | IM-NY-0050-9000
Tumlin, Karen C. (California)
IM-NY-0050-0001 | IM-NY-0050-9000
Werlin, Beth (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0050-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bergman, Jacob Max (New York)
IM-NY-0050-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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