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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 and/or the Border
Attorney Organization ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU of Northern California
National Immigration Law Center
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 attorneys, filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern ... 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 attorneys, filed this 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 was 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 could 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. In addition, plaintiffs argued that the rule conflicted with the governing statute, was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act, and was promulgated in violation of the Regulatory Flexibility Act. 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. The court found that plaintiffs “raised serious questions” as to whether the new rule conflicted with statute and was beyond the authority of the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration.

On September 9, 2007, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the U.S Chamber of Commerce, and several business associations filed a motion to intervene as plaintiffs. They similarly sought to challenge the rule as issued in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and the Regulatory Flexibility Act and sought an order declaring the rule invalid. Two days later, the District Court (Judge Susan Y. Illston) granted the motion, and plaintiff-intervenors filed a complaint and motion for a preliminary injunction. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and UNITE HERE also sought to intervene as plaintiffs, and Judge Illston granted their request.

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. Judge Breyer entered a preliminary injunction on October 15, 2007, restraining the defendants from implementing and enforcing the new rule.

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 defendants' motion to stay proceedings.

That same month, defendants appealed the preliminary injunction order to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (docket no. 07-17241). In November 2008, the Ninth Circuit 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. Defendants then filed a motion to vacate the preliminary injunction and for summary judgment. Plaintiffs argued that the proposed rule would still improperly use social security records for immigration enforcement. They therefore opposed defendants' motion for summary judgment. In addition, they filed a cross-motion for summary judgment.

On July 9, 2009, DHS announced its intention to initiate rulemaking proceedings to rescind the Safe Harbor Rule. Because recission 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. This case is closed.

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


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Employer sanctions
Employment
Work authorization - criteria
Work authorization - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens
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 ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU of Northern California
National Immigration Law Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Rule rescinded
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 08/29/2007
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Court Docket(s)
N.D. Cal.
11/18/2009
3:07-cv-04472-CRB
IM-CA-0054-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Cal.
08/28/2007
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0054-0001.pdf | Detail
not recorded
08/29/2007
AFL-CIO, ACLU and National Immigration Law Center Challenge New Homeland Security Rule
IM-CA-0054-0004.pdf | Detail
N.D. Cal.
08/29/2007
Memorandum in Support of Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 6]
IM-CA-0054-0002.pdf | Detail
N.D. Cal.
08/31/2007
Temporary Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause Re:Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 21]
IM-CA-0054-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
09/11/2007
Complaint in Intervention [ECF# 45]
IM-CA-0054-0011.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
09/14/2007
Complaint in Intervention of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, United Food and Commerical Workers Local 5, Unite Here, and Unite Here Local 2 [ECF# 70]
IM-CA-0054-0012.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
09/26/2007
Amended Complaint in Intervention of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5, Unite here, Unite her Local 2, and Change to Win [ECF# 121]
IM-CA-0054-0013.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
10/10/2007
Order Granting Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 135] (552 F.Supp.2d 999)
IM-CA-0054-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
10/15/2007
Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 137]
IM-CA-0054-0014.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
10/19/2007
Amended Complaint [ECF# 138]
IM-CA-0054-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
11/23/2007
Motion to Stay Proceedings Pending New Rulemaking [ECF# 142]
IM-CA-0054-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
10/23/2008
Motion to Vacate Status Conference and Proposed Order [ECF# 160]
IM-CA-0054-0008.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
07/17/2009
Defendants' Unopposed Motion to Stay This Action Pending the Completion of Rulemaking Proceedings on the Safe Harbor Rule [ECF# 200]
IM-CA-0054-0009.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
11/18/2009
Stipulation and Order Dismissing Action as Moot [ECF# 206]
IM-CA-0054-0010.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Breyer, Charles R. (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-0005 | IM-CA-0054-0010 | IM-CA-0054-0014 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Chesney, Maxine M. (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Avendaño, Ana L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Berzon, Stephen P. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Brennan, Shane (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-0006 | IM-CA-0054-0011 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Chang, Jennifer (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-0001 | IM-CA-0054-0002 | IM-CA-0054-9000
Charrow, Robert Phillip (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Chawla, Manjari (California) show/hide docs
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Conrad, Robin S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Coppess, James B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Dayan, Leon (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Goines, William J. (California) show/hide docs
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Guizar, Monica T. (California) show/hide docs
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Guttentag, Lucas (California) show/hide docs
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Hamilton, Cindy (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Hiatt, Jonathan P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Hincapie, Marielena (California) show/hide docs
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Hunter, Jennifer L (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-0012 | IM-CA-0054-0013
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York) show/hide docs
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Joaquin, Linton (California) show/hide docs
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Klaus, Laura Metcoff (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Kronland, Scott A. (California) show/hide docs
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Leonard, Danielle E. (California) show/hide docs
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Lye, Linda (California) show/hide docs
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Mass, Julia Harumi (California) show/hide docs
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Newell, Jennifer Chang (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-9000
Preciado, Nora (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-9000
Ramírez, Mónica M. (California) show/hide docs
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Reiff, Laura Foote (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Rosenfeld, David Albert (California) show/hide docs
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Rosenthal, Karen (California) show/hide docs
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Schlosser, Alan Lawrence (California) show/hide docs
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Weissglass, Jonathan (California) show/hide docs
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Defendant's Lawyers Beane, Eric Joseph (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-9000
Bensing, Daniel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Bucholtz, Jeffrey S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-0007
Dupree, Thomas H. Jr. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Katsas, Gregory George (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-0008
Lee, Jonathan Unruh (California) show/hide docs
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Monrad, Phillip C. (California) show/hide docs
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Ross, Matthew D. (California) show/hide docs
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Russoniello, Joseph R. (California) show/hide docs
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Schools, Scott N (South Carolina) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-0007
Schraibman, Sandra M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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West, Tony (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-0009 | IM-CA-0054-0010
Other Lawyers Claxton, Linda (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-9000
Rice, Cynthia Louise (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-9000
Weinberg, Robert M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0054-0012 | IM-CA-0054-0013 | IM-CA-0054-9000

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