This class action, filed January 30, 2017, challenges President Trump’s Jan. 27, 2017 Executive Order ban on admission to the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Plaintiffs are represented by the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild, and the American Immigration Council. The case was assigned to Judge James Robart.
The plaintiffs are a U.S. citizen and her six year old son--who is a Somali citizen with a pending immigrant visa application; a U.S. citizen and his 12 year old daughter--who is a Yemeni citizen with an approved immigrant visa application; and a lawful permanent resident and her 16 year old son--who is a Syrian citizen with a pending immigrant visa application. In each case, plaintiffs sought to be reunited as families living in the U.S. But pursuant to the executive order, review of the pending visa applications was suspended and the plaintiff with the approved visa application was not allowed to board a flight to the U.S.
The complaint also sought inclusion of a class of "all nationals of countries designated by Section 3(c) of the Executive Order signed by President Trump on January 27, 2017 (currently Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen), who have applied for or will apply for an immigrant visa and the visa petitioners for those nationals, whose visa applications have been or will be suspended or denied, or whose immigrant visas have been or will be revoked, or who have been or will be denied the ability to travel to the United States, on the basis of the January 27, 2017 Executive Order."
The complaint argued that the executive order violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1361 (mandamus), and Fifth Amendment equal protection and due process rights. The complaint sought class certification, declaratory relief, and injunctive relief.
On Feb. 2, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification, with supporting declarations. On Feb. 6, the plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order. On Feb. 16, the government moved to stay briefing deadlines for the preliminary injunction and then withdrew the motion the following day. On Feb. 17, the plaintiffs re-noted their motion for class certification.
In a Feb. 21 order, Judge Robart set the initial disclosures and a combined submission of the Joint Status Report and Discovery plans to be due on March 21 and March 28 accordingly.
On Feb. 23, the government filed a motion to extend their time to respond to the plaintiff's request for class certification, which the plaintiffs responded to five days later.
On Feb. 27, the defendants responded to the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction.
On Mar. 6, 2017, the President rescinded the Jan. 27 Executive Order and replaced it with a narrower one, Executive Order 13780
. On Mar. 7, the government filed notice of the new EO in this case.
On March 10, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint in response to the second EO, arguing that it "does not remedy the unlawful discrimination against Plaintiffs and proposed class members on these bases, but rather continues it." The plaintiffs represented by the new complaint are two U.S. citizens and two U.S. legal permanent residents and their family members who are citizens of Syria, Somalia, or Iran. The complaint seeks to certify a class consisting of "all nationals of countries designated by Section 2 of Executive Order 13780 (currently Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen), who have applied for or will apply for an immigrant visa and the visa petitioners for those nationals; whose visa application adjudication has been or will be suspended or denied, or who have been or will be denied the ability to seek entry into and/or enter the United States, on the basis of Executive Order 13780." The complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief for violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, Fifth Amendment equal protection and due process rights, and the Establishment Clause. In conjunction, the plaintiffs filed a second motion to certify a class.
The same date, the plaintiffs also filed an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunctive relief, as well as four accompanying declarations. The motion argues that pending the court's decision in Washington v. Trump (No. 2:17-cv-141-JLR, W.D. Wash.) to clarify if the nationwide injunction applies to the new EO, "Plaintiffs and proposed class members face immediate irreparable harm on March 16,
2017, the order’s effective date" if that court does not extend the nationwide injunction to the new EO. The motion requests a hearing for March 14 or 15 "so that Plaintiffs have the opportunity to seek redress before Defendants resume their unlawful conduct."
On March 14, the defendants filed a brief regarding whether injunctive relief can be granted to an uncertified class, asserting that in such a case, it may only be granted to the named plaintiffs. The plaintiffs responded in their supplemental brief in support of their emergency motion. The plaintiffs argued that district courts issued TROs on behalf of proposed class members in response to the Jan. 27 EO and that those actions were justified because "those situations, like this one, fall within the classic domain of the TRO, preserving the status quo of the matter subject to litigation and preventing irreparable harm until a hearing can be held on the preliminary injunction." The defendants also filed their opposition to the plaintiff's emergency motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunctive relief.
A hearing regarding the emergency motion occurred on March 15, under Judge Robart. On March 17, the Court stayed the emergency motion in light of the nationwide preliminary injunction granted in Hawai'i v. Trump, No. 17-00050 (D. Haw.), on March 15 so as to "conserve its resources and to benefit from any Ninth Circuit rulings in Hawai'i v. Trump regarding [the second EO]."
The case is ongoing.
More information may be available at the American Immigration Council's page for the case, here
.Virginia Weeks - 01/31/2017
Julie Aust - 02/24/2017
Jamie Kessler - 03/07/2017
Virginia Weeks - 03/18/2017