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Case Name Catholic Social Services v. Ashcroft IM-CA-0011
Docket / Court 2:86-cv-01343-LKK-JFM ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On November 12, 1986, Catholic Social Services filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, challenging the Immigration and Naturalization Service's ("INS") interpretation of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 ("IRCA"). This case was ... read more >
On November 12, 1986, Catholic Social Services filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, challenging the Immigration and Naturalization Service's ("INS") interpretation of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 ("IRCA"). This case was one of three "late amnesty cases" filed in the federal courts in California against the INS. The other two case were Zambrano v. INS, S-88-455 EJG (E.D.Cal.) [IM-CA-8 of this collection] and LULAC v. INS; 2:87-cv-04757-WDK-CW (C.D.Cal.) [IM-CA-19].

The IRCA established a one-time only amnesty program through which aliens could apply for lawful temporary resident status and then, after a one-year waiting period, apply for permanent residency. 8 U.S.C. §1255a. To qualify for this program, the alien must have been in the United States since January 1, 1982, and must have been continuously physically present in the United States except for ''brief, casual, and innocent absences,'' since November 6, 1986. The INS later issued a regulation that stated if an alien made any departure and subsequent reentry after November 6, 1986, without prior authorization from the INS (known as "advanced parole"), the alien would be ineligible for legalization, no matter how brief, casual, or otherwise innocent the absence. As a result of this regulation, the INS rejected applications submitted by aliens who had traveled abroad for brief periods during the required period of continuous residence without obtaining advanced parole. Plaintiffs challenged the legality of the "advanced parole" provision. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

The Catholic Social Services case resulted in litigation which spanned over 20 years and produced a complicated procedural history of appeals to and remands from the Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court. A brief synopsis of that history follows.

Shortly after suit was filed, District Court (Judge Karlton) issued a TRO, enjoining the INS from deporting these undocumented aliens under IRCA. He also provisionally certified the class. as all of the people who have been or may be deported or issued voluntary departure who are considered by the defendant as deportable aliens who can establish a prima facie claim or a nonfrivolous claim for adjustment of status to temporary resident. That order was reversed on appeal. Catholic Social Services v. Meese, 813 F.2d 1500 (E.D. California 1987), opinion withdrawn and vacated, Catholic Social Services v. Meese, 820 F.2d 289 (9th Cir. 1987).

On June 17, 1987, the district court (Judge Karlton) stated that the "statutory prohibition against the exclusion of aliens applied to those who were apprehended after the effective date of the statute and whose last attempted entry into the United States occurred after the effective date of the statute," favored the grant of injunction due to the hardships of the plaintiffs and the consideration of public interest." Catholic Social Services v. Meese, 664 F.Supp. 1378 (E.D. California 1987). On May 3, 1988, the court approved the amended definition of the class certification to include: "(1) All person prima facie eligible for legalization under INA § 245A who departed and reentered the U.S. without INS authorization after the enactment of IRCA following what they assert to have been a brief, casual and innocent absence from the U.S.; or (2) all persons having a non-frivolous claim to legalization under INA § 210 who reentered or attempted to reenter the U.S. without INS authorization on or after November 6, 1986." Catholic Social Services v. Meese, 685 F.Supp. 1149 (E.D. California 1988)

On remand, the district court entered judgment in favor of plaintiffs, striking down the INS' advance parole rule. Catholic Soc. Servs. v. Meese, 685 F. Supp. 1149 (E.D. Cal. 1988), affirmed, Catholic Soc. Servs. v. Thornburgh, 956 F.2d 914 (9th Cir. 1992). The case went to the Supreme Court, which vacated the district court judgment and remanded the case as it determined that some of the class members claims were not ripe. The Court found that some class members had ripe claims, particularly those individuals whose applications had been summarily rejected by an INS legalization assistant due to perceived violations of the challenged travel regulation. (Rejection of the applications outright was known as "front-desking.") Reno v. Catholic Soc. Servs., 509 U.S. 43 (1993).

On remand, the District Court (Judge Karlton) issued an order amending the definition of the class to include:

All persons, otherwise eligible for legalization under IRCA, who, after November 6, 1986, depart or departed the United States for brief, innocent and casual absences without advance parole, and who (i) are therefore deemed ineligible for legalization, or (ii) were informed that they were ineligible to apply for legalization, or were refused by the INS or its QDEs legalization forms and for whom such information, or inability to obtain the required application forms, was a substantial cause of their failure to timely file or complete a written application.

The INS appealed the order. While the case was on appeal, Congress amended the immigration laws by enacting the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. A provision of that Act sought to limit court review of legalization claims.

In January, 1998, the Ninth Circuit found that the newly enacted legislation stripped the district court of jurisdiction over plaintiffs' claims as none of the named plaintiffs had alleged that they actually tendered an application and fee or tried to do so but had the application "front-desked." Catholic Social Services v. Reno, 134 F.3d 921 (9th Cir. 1998). The case was remanded for dismissal.

On April 7, 1998, plaintiffs filed a new complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California which was assigned case #2:98-cv-00629-LKK-JFM), which added claims of plaintiffs whose applications had been front desked. The new complaint also sought to challenged the constitutionality of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

Judge Karlton again granted a TRO, and entered a preliminary injunction, prohibiting the deportation of the class of aliens qualified to challenge advance parole policy. Catholic Social Services v. Meese, 1998 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 10429 (E.D. California 1998). Defendants appealed and the Ninth Circuit (Judge O'Scannlain) reversed. Catholic Social Services, Inc. v. I.N.S., 182 F.3d 1053 (9th Cir. 1999). On rehearing en banc, the Court of Appeals (Judge William A. Fletcher) affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded.

On December, 2000 Congress enacted the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act (LIFE). The LIFE Act repealed the challenged section (§377) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. Based on the enactment of LIFE, in August 2001, the District Court (Judge Karlton) reinstated the previously dismissed case (CSS I, docket #86-1343) and consolidated it with the second filed case (CSS II, #98-629.).

On February 15, 2002, the District Court (Judge Karlton) amended the class certification to include the class members from CSS I as well as the members "who were not part of the original class, but who were subject to the same statutes requiring that aliens seeking legalization under IRCA must have presented complete application form to legalization officer in order for court to have jurisdiction over cause of action by alien, for limited purpose of challenging the jurisdiction-stripping provisions on Equal Protection grounds." Catholic Social Services v. Ashcroft, 206 F.R.D. 654 (E.D. Cal. 2002).

Settlement discussions soon followed and an agreement was reached in late 2003. On January 23, 2004, Judge Karlton approved the settlement, which allowed class members to apply for permanent resident status under the amnesty program beginning about March 2004. For the full settlement terms, see the Joint Stipulation Regarding Settlement, which is part of the document collection for this case.

In March, 2004, Judge Karlton ordered defendants to pay plaintiffs $3.5 million as full settlement of all claims for attorneys' fees and $100,000 for costs.

On May 15, 2007, the court (Judge Karlton) dismissed with prejudice all claims from the complaint as amended, and dissolved any injunctive orders and decisions. No further activity was noted.

Erica Woodruff - 08/21/2007


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Constitutional rights
Deportation - criteria
Legalization/Amnesty
Status/Classification
Temporary protected status
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)
Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA)
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Attorney General of the United States
Immigration and Naturalization Service
Plaintiff Description All aliens whose applications for legalization through the amnesty program of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 were denied because of the INS’ advanced parole rule.
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing IM-CA-0019 : LULAC v. INS (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0008 : Zambrano v. INS (E.D. Cal.)
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 ]

Links The Oyez Project, Reno, Attorney General v. Catholic Social Services, Inc., 509 U.S. 43 (1993).
www.oyez.org
Posted: Jun. 18, 1993
By: Oyez Project (IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:98-cv-00629-LKK-JFM (E.D. Cal.) 03/11/2002
IM-CA-0011-9001 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
2:86-cv-01343-LKK-JFM (E.D. Cal.) 05/15/2007
IM-CA-0011-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion 04/03/1987 (1987 WL 61013)
IM-CA-0011-0025 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Opinion 05/04/1987 (1987 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 3988) (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0028 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion 06/15/1987 (820 F.2d 289)
IM-CA-0011-0024 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Opinion 06/17/1987 (664 F.Supp. 1378) (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0016 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 05/03/1988 (685 F.Supp. 1149) (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0017 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 02/13/1992 (956 F.2d 914)
IM-CA-0011-0018 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 06/22/1992 (505 U.S. 1203)
IM-CA-0011-0026 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion 06/18/1993 (509 U.S. 43)
IM-CA-0011-0027 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion 07/07/1993 (996 F.2d 221)
IM-CA-0011-0019 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 01/16/1998 (134 F.3d 921)
IM-CA-0011-0020 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 06/05/1998 (1998 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 10431) (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0029 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion 06/12/1998 (1998 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 10430) (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0030 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion 06/19/1998 (1998 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 10429) (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0031 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion 06/30/1999 (182 F.3d 1053)
IM-CA-0011-0021 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 12/15/1999 (197 F.3d 1041)
IM-CA-0011-0023 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Opinion 11/21/2000 (232 F.3d 1139)
IM-CA-0011-0015 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 08/27/2001 (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0001 PDF | Detail
Order 11/26/2001 (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0002 PDF | Detail
Stipulated Voluntary Dismissal of Plaintiff Gustavo Rodriguez and [Proposed] Order Thereon 01/14/2002
IM-CA-0011-0003 PDF | Detail
Order 02/15/2002 (206 F.R.D. 654) (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Order 03/05/2002 (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0005 PDF | Detail
Stipulated Voluntary Dismissal of Plaintiff Maria Magana and [Proposed] Order Thereon 03/05/2002
IM-CA-0011-0006 PDF | Detail
Order 05/21/2002 (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0007 PDF | Detail
Order 07/24/2002 (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0008 PDF | Detail
Order 08/12/2002 (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0009 PDF | Detail
Order 10/03/2002 (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0010 PDF | Detail
Order 12/23/2002 (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0011 PDF | Detail
Joint Stipulation Regarding Settlement 12/01/2003
IM-CA-0011-0014 PDF | Detail
Order Approving Settlement of Class Action 01/23/2004 (2004 WL 5716141) (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0012 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Stipulation Dismissing Action Pursuant to Paragraph 17 of Settlement; [Proposed] Order Thereon 05/15/2007
IM-CA-0011-0013 PDF | Detail
Judges Alarcon, Arthur Lawrence (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0020 | IM-CA-0011-0021 | IM-CA-0011-0024 | IM-CA-0011-0025
Anderson, J. Blaine (D. Idaho, Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0024 | IM-CA-0011-0025
Blackmun, Harry Andrew (Eighth Circuit, SCOTUS)
IM-CA-0011-0027
Browning, James Robert (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0015
Fernandez, Ferdinand Francis (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0015
Fletcher, William A. (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0015
Goodwin, Alfred Theodore (D. Or., Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0018 | IM-CA-0011-0019
Graber, Susan (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0015
Hall, Cynthia Holcomb (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0024 | IM-CA-0011-0025
Hawkins, Michael Daly (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0015
Hug, Procter Ralph Jr. (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0015 | IM-CA-0011-0018 | IM-CA-0011-0019 | IM-CA-0011-0023
Karlton, Lawrence K. (E.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0011-0001 | IM-CA-0011-0003 | IM-CA-0011-0004 | IM-CA-0011-0006 | IM-CA-0011-0007 | IM-CA-0011-0008 | IM-CA-0011-0009 | IM-CA-0011-0010 | IM-CA-0011-0011 | IM-CA-0011-0012 | IM-CA-0011-0013 | IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0017 | IM-CA-0011-0028 | IM-CA-0011-0029 | IM-CA-0011-0030 | IM-CA-0011-0031 | IM-CA-0011-9000 | IM-CA-0011-9001
Kennedy, Anthony McLeod (SCOTUS, Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0027
Kozinski, Alex (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0015
Moulds, John F. (E.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
IM-CA-0011-0005 | IM-CA-0011-9000 | IM-CA-0011-9001
Nelson, Thomas G. (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0015
O'Connor, Sandra Day (SCOTUS)
IM-CA-0011-0027
O'Scannlain, Diarmuid Fionntain (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0020 | IM-CA-0011-0021
Rehnquist, William Hubbs (SCOTUS)
IM-CA-0011-0027
Reinhardt, Stephen Roy (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0015
Scalia, Antonin (SCOTUS, D.C. Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0027
Schroeder, Mary Murphy (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0020 | IM-CA-0011-0021
Sneed, Joseph Tyree III (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0018 | IM-CA-0011-0019
Souter, David Hackett (SCOTUS, First Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0027
Stevens, John Paul (SCOTUS, Seventh Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0027
Thomas, Clarence (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS)
IM-CA-0011-0027
Thomas, Sidney Runyan (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0015
Trott, Stephen S. (Ninth Circuit)
IM-CA-0011-0015
White, Byron Raymond (SCOTUS)
IM-CA-0011-0027
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abascal, Ralph Santiago (California)
IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0017 | IM-CA-0011-0018 | IM-CA-0011-0024 | IM-CA-0011-0025 | IM-CA-0011-0027 | IM-CA-0011-0028
Bau, Ignatius (California)
IM-CA-0011-0017 | IM-CA-0011-0028
Broderick, Patrick (California)
IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0028
Cespedes, Luis Alfonso (California)
IM-CA-0011-9000
Cordova, Ricardo (California)
IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0017 | IM-CA-0011-0028
Finley, Beth A. (California)
IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0028
Gibbs, Robert H. (Washington)
IM-CA-0011-0014 | IM-CA-0011-9000
Hayward, Miriam (California)
IM-CA-0011-9000
Holguín, Carlos R. (California)
IM-CA-0011-0014 | IM-CA-0011-0015 | IM-CA-0011-0021 | IM-CA-0011-0029 | IM-CA-0011-0030 | IM-CA-0011-0031 | IM-CA-0011-9000 | IM-CA-0011-9001
Lopez, Edward (California)
IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0028
Mann, Ronald J. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0027
Padilla, Jose (California)
IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0017 | IM-CA-0011-0028
Pasahow, Lynn H. (California)
IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0028
Pauw, Robert (Washington)
IM-CA-0011-0014 | IM-CA-0011-9000
Rosenbaum, Stephen A. (California)
IM-CA-0011-0014 | IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0017 | IM-CA-0011-0018 | IM-CA-0011-0028 | IM-CA-0011-9000
Rubin, Michael (California)
IM-CA-0011-0015 | IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0017 | IM-CA-0011-0018 | IM-CA-0011-0028 | IM-CA-0011-0029 | IM-CA-0011-0030 | IM-CA-0011-0031 | IM-CA-0011-9000 | IM-CA-0011-9001
Rubin, Robert J. (California)
IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0017 | IM-CA-0011-0028
Sandoval, Elizabeth (California)
IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0017 | IM-CA-0011-0028
Schey, Peter A. (California)
IM-CA-0011-0014 | IM-CA-0011-0015 | IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0017 | IM-CA-0011-0018 | IM-CA-0011-0020 | IM-CA-0011-0021 | IM-CA-0011-0024 | IM-CA-0011-0025 | IM-CA-0011-0028 | IM-CA-0011-0029 | IM-CA-0011-0030 | IM-CA-0011-0031 | IM-CA-0011-9000 | IM-CA-0011-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Adams, Linda B. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0028
Bell, Keisha Dawn (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0015 | IM-CA-0011-0021 | IM-CA-0011-0029 | IM-CA-0011-0030 | IM-CA-0011-0031 | IM-CA-0011-9000 | IM-CA-0011-9001
Bernal, David V. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0016
Bombaugh, Robert L. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0015
Carty, Eileen A. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0017
Filppu, Lauri Steven (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0016
Funk, Stephen W. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0020 | IM-CA-0011-0029 | IM-CA-0011-0030 | IM-CA-0011-0031 | IM-CA-0011-9000 | IM-CA-0011-9001
Kamlet, Susan L. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0016
Keener, Donald E. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0029 | IM-CA-0011-0030 | IM-CA-0011-0031 | IM-CA-0011-9000 | IM-CA-0011-9001
Kendall, Robert Jr. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0017 | IM-CA-0011-9000
Kline, David J. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0014
Levi, David F. (California)
IM-CA-0011-0016
MacLachlan, Andrew C. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0014 | IM-CA-0011-9000 | IM-CA-0011-9001
McCallum, Robert D. Jr. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0014
McIntosh, Scott R. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0018
Raymond, Robert R. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0014
Scott, McGregor W. (California)
IM-CA-0011-0014
Stern, Mark B. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0024 | IM-CA-0011-0025
Williams, Glyndell E. (California)
IM-CA-0011-0014 | IM-CA-0011-0016 | IM-CA-0011-0017 | IM-CA-0011-0028 | IM-CA-0011-9000
Wilson, Earle B. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0014 | IM-CA-0011-9000 | IM-CA-0011-9001
Wright, M. Jocelyn (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0011-0015 | IM-CA-0011-0021 | IM-CA-0011-9001
Other Lawyers Chemerinsky, Erwin (California)
IM-CA-0011-0015
Jobe, Robert B. (California)
IM-CA-0011-0015
Van Der Hout, Marc (California)
IM-CA-0011-0015

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