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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 and/or the Border
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
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 restrict 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. In the amended complaint, the petitioners argued that the government violated their constitutional and statutory rights, including the right to be free from prolonged and indefinite detention, right to a prompt bond hearing in Massachusetts before any transfer, right to counsel, and right to family integrity. 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. Section 1252(b)(9) limited “judicial review of all questions of law and fact . . . arising from any action taken or proceeding brought to remove [a noncitizen] from the Unites States . . . shall be available only in judicial review of a final order under this section.” Judge Stearns found this section applicable to all of 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. Judge Stearns entered final judgment on May 22, 2007, and petitioners appealed.

On November 27, 2007, the First Circuit [Judges Michael Boudin, Bruce M. Selya, Jeffrey R. Howard] affirmed the district court decision, agreeing that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the majority of petitioners' claims. However, it found that petitioners Section 1252(b)(9) did not strip it of jurisdiction over petitioners claim that the government violated petitioners rights under the Fifth Amendment to make decisions as to the care of their children because these claims did not “arise from” the removal proceeding, but rather were collateral to the proceeding. Nonetheless, the First Circuit affirmed the dismissal of these claims for failure to state a claim because the allegations did not meet the “shock the conscience” standard for a substantive due process claim. Aguilar v. U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Div. of Dep't of Homeland Sec., 510 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2007). The District Court entered the First Circuit’s mandate on February 12, 2008. This case is closed.

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


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
General
Habeas Corpus
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Employer sanctions
Employment
ICE/DHS/INS raid
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens
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 Affiliates (any)
Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Denied
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 03/08/2007
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing IM-NJ-0007 : Argueta v. Myers (D.N.J.)
Additional Resources
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  Aguilar, et al. v. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), et al.
Center for Constitutional Rights
Date: April 4, 2013
By: Center for Constitutional Rights
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
D. Mass.
02/12/2008
1:07-cv-10471-RGS
IM-MA-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Mass.
03/08/2007
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1-1]
IM-MA-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
D. Mass.
03/08/2007
Petitioners' Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction and Emergency Motion for Expedited Hearing [ECF# 2]
IM-MA-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
03/08/2007
Memorandum in Support of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction and Emergency Motion for Expedited Hearing [ECF# 3]
IM-MA-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
03/09/2007
Opposition to Motion for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 4-1]
IM-MA-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
D. Mass.
03/09/2007
Order [Granting TRO] [ECF# 5] (2007 WL 757871)
IM-MA-0004-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
03/28/2007
Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Motion to Compel Discovery [ECF# 22]
IM-MA-0004-0009.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
03/28/2007
Respondents' Opposition to Petitioners' Emergency Motion for TRO [ECF# 24]
IM-MA-0004-0010.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
04/03/2007
Order on Motion to Quash [ECF# 28]
IM-MA-0004-0011.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
04/06/2007
Order on Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and Request For Discovery [ECF# 31] (2007 WL 1059562)
IM-MA-0004-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D. Mass.
05/07/2007
Order on Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 58] (490 F.Supp.2d 42)
IM-MA-0004-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
11/28/2007
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 67]
IM-MA-0004-0008.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Selya, Bruce Marshall (FISCR, D.R.I., First Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-0008
Stearns, Richard Gaylore (D. Mass.) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-0005 | IM-MA-0004-0006 | IM-MA-0004-0007 | IM-MA-0004-0011 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bonn, Bernard J. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-0001 | IM-MA-0004-0002 | IM-MA-0004-0003 | IM-MA-0004-0009 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Kaplan, Harvey (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-0001 | IM-MA-0004-0002 | IM-MA-0004-0003 | IM-MA-0004-0009 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Kelly, Nancy (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-0001 | IM-MA-0004-0002 | IM-MA-0004-0003 | IM-MA-0004-0009
Lyons, Matthew M. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-9000
Reinstein, John (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-0009 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Rotolo, Laura (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-9000
Shin, Michael S. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-0001 | IM-MA-0004-0002 | IM-MA-0004-0003 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Sniffin, Ondine (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-0001 | IM-MA-0004-0002 | IM-MA-0004-0003 | IM-MA-0004-0009
Willshire, John E. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-0001 | IM-MA-0004-0002 | IM-MA-0004-0003 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Crowley, Frank (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-0004 | IM-MA-0004-0010 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Grady, Mark J. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-0010 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Smith, Barbara Healy (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-0004 | IM-MA-0004-9000
Stevens, Elizabeth Jones (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0004-0010 | IM-MA-0004-9000

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