University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Rosario [formerly Northwest Immigrant Rights Project] v. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services IM-WA-0025
Docket / Court 2:15-cv-00813-JLR ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
Case Summary
On May 22, 2015, noncitizens entitled to employment authorization documents (EADs), and two organizational plaintiffs serving immigrants, filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief and ... read more >
On May 22, 2015, noncitizens entitled to employment authorization documents (EADs), and two organizational plaintiffs serving immigrants, filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief and mandamus under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and accompanying regulations and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, the American Immigration Council, and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, challenged the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for alleged policies and practices of unlawfully delaying adjudication of EAD applications and refusing to issue required interim EADs. The individual plaintiffs sought to represent the nationwide class of noncitizens who had filed or would file an EAD application that was not or would not be adjudicated within the required regulatory time frame.

The case was assigned on May 26, 2015 to Judge James L. Robart.

Next followed a series of sealed documents. Defendants filed several sealed motions, including an Aug. 10, 2015 motion to dismiss and opposition to plaintiffs' motion for class certification. On Feb. 10, 2016, Judge Robart filed a sealed order granting in part and denying in part defendants' motion to dismiss. Plaintiffs then filed a sealed Feb. 22 amended complaint and Mar. 11 motion for class certification; defendants filed a sealed Apr. 18 motion to dismiss.

On Sept. 7, 2016, Judge Robart held oral argument on the motion to dismiss and motion for class certification. On Oct. 5, he issued an order granting and part and denying in part defendants' motion to dismiss (by dismissing some plaintiffs on grounds of standing or failure to state a claim but allowing others to proceed), as well as denying without prejudice individual plaintiffs' motion for class certification, with leave to renew it to correct deficiencies. 2016 WL 5817078.

Plaintiffs filed a third motion for class certification on Nov. 4, 2016, proposing nationwide classes of individuals whose EAD applications had been delayed 30 days (for asylum applicants) or 90 days (for others). Defendants moved to dismiss in part on Mar. 2, 2017. Judge Robart held oral argument on July 13.

On July 18, 2017, Judge Robart issued an order granting in part and denying in part the 30-day plaintiff class's motion for class certification, but also granting defendants' motion to dismiss to 90-day plaintiff class and subclass's claims (because revised regulations now required defendants to take action). The certified 30-day class was defined as "[n]oncitizens who have filed or will file applications for employment authorization that were not or will not be adjudicated within . . . 30 days . . . and who have not or will not be granted interim employment authorization." The order also dismissed the organizational plaintiffs. 2017 WL 3034447.

On Oct. 17, 2017, Judge Robart set a briefing and discovery schedule. Discovery is scheduled to be completed by Apr. 2, 2018.

This case is ongoing.

Frances Hollander - 11/01/2015
Ava Morgenstern - 01/28/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Government Services (specify)
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Record-keeping
Timeliness of case assignment
Wait lists
Immigration/Border
Asylum - procedure
Employment
Status/Classification
Work authorization - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
Plaintiff Description Noncitizens whose employment authorization requests were unlawfully delayed and nonprofit legal services organizations that serve low-income immigrants
Indexed Lawyer Organizations American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2015
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Judge Certifies Nationwide Class in Employment Authorization Case (NWIRP v. USCIS)
www.lexisnexis.com
Date: Jul. 19, 2017
By: Daniel M. Kowalski (LexisNexis)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  USCIS Takes Too Long To Review Work Docs, Immigrants Say
www.law360.com
Date: May 26, 2015
By: Kevin Penton (Law360)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:15-cv-813 (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0025-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/06/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-WA-0025-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/22/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 80] (2016 WL 5817078 / 2016 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 138603) (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0025-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/05/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 95] (2017 WL 3034447 / 2017 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 111761) (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0025-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/18/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Robart, James L. (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0025-0002 | IM-WA-0025-0003 | IM-WA-0025-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Crow, Melissa E. (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0025-0001 | IM-WA-0025-9000
Dellon, Leslie K (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0025-9000
Gibbs, Robert H. (Washington)
IM-WA-0025-0001 | IM-WA-0025-9000
Murdoch, Christina J. (Illinois)
IM-WA-0025-9000
Pauw, Robert (Washington)
IM-WA-0025-0001 | IM-WA-0025-9000
Pollock, Scott D (Illinois)
IM-WA-0025-0001 | IM-WA-0025-9000
Realmuto, Trina (Massachusetts)
IM-WA-0025-9000
Strawn, Christopher (Washington)
IM-WA-0025-0001 | IM-WA-0025-9000
Theriot-Orr, Devin T. (Washington)
IM-WA-0025-0001 | IM-WA-0025-9000
Van Der Hout, Marc (California)
IM-WA-0025-0001 | IM-WA-0025-9000
Weber, Kathryn R (Illinois)
IM-WA-0025-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Defoe, Craig Andrew (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0025-9000
Inkeles, John Joseph William (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0025-9000
Maloney, Sarah (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0025-9000
Robins, Jeffrey S (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0025-9000
Zack, Adrienne (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0025-9000

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