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Case Name Ramirez Medina v. Asher IM-WA-0032
Docket / Court 2:17-cv-00218 ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Take Care
Attorney Organization Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
Public Counsel
Case Summary
On Feb. 13, 2017, Daniel Ramirez Medina -- believed to be the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient detained under the Trump administration -- filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The plaintiff sued the U.S. Department of ... read more >
On Feb. 13, 2017, Daniel Ramirez Medina -- believed to be the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient detained under the Trump administration -- filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The plaintiff sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS); represented by the organization Public Counsel, and by private attorneys including constitutional scholars Laurence Tribe and Erwin Chemerinsky, he sought release from detention.

Plaintiff alleged that he was a 23-year-old DACA recipient, had entered the United States from Mexico at the age of seven, and had no criminal record (as confirmed by his DACA background check). On Feb. 10, 2017, plaintiff was apprehended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who came to arrest his father. In his father's home at the time, plaintiff was also arrested and then detained at the federal Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington.

The case was assigned to Magistrate Judge James P. Donohue. On Feb. 14, 2017, Magistrate Judge Donohue scheduled a Feb. 17 status conference for the parties to discuss on what basis plaintiff was detained given his DACA grant; if he was in removal proceedings, the status of his processing; whether the court had authority to order an Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to consider an expedited challenge to plaintiff's detention; and whether the court could hold a detention hearing before deciding the merits of the habeas case.

On Feb. 16, plaintiff filed a response brief. Plaintiff alleged that after his arrest, ICE agents questioned him about whether he had gang affiliations. He denied this, but ICE then told news media it took him into custody because he was a "self-admitted gang member." Plaintiff asserted that some of the documentation offered by the government in support of gang affiliation had been illicitly altered by ICE officials.

After the status conference, on Feb. 17, Magistrate Judge Donohue issued an order denying plaintiff's petition for immediate release from the ongoing removal proceedings, on the basis that the court lacked jurisdiction and had to refer the initial inquiry to an Immigration Judge. Magistrate Judge Donohue ordered plaintiff to request a bond hearing from an Immigration Judge by Feb. 21, for the bond hearing to take place by Feb. 24. However, if the Immigration Judge were to deny the request, at that point plaintiff could also ask the court to waive the general requirement that he appeal the determination to the BIA, so that he could instead appeal to the court. Magistrate Judge Donohue scheduled a hearing for Mar. 8 on defendants' motion to dismiss based on jurisdiction, and set a briefing schedule. After that hearing, the court would schedule another hearing on the merits of the habeas petition.

Plaintiff filed, on Feb. 21, an amended petition for habeas and declaratory and injunctive relief, requesting plaintiff's immediate release and an order that all current and future DACA beneficiaries be free from unwarranted arrest. Plaintiff argued that the court had federal question jurisdiction over this habeas case, and that Immigration Court lacked jurisdiction because no removal proceeding had been initiated. This petition was followed by plaintiff's Feb. 22 emergency motion for conditional release pending final determination.

On Feb. 23, Magistrate Judge Donohue extended the deadline for defendants' motion to dismiss to Feb. 27, and ordered that this motion respond to plaintiffs' emergency motion. Defendants filed the motion on Feb. 27.

On Feb. 24, plaintiff requested an immediate hearing on conditional release. However, on Feb. 27, Magistrate Judge Donohue denied plaintiff's request for an immediate hearing, stating that plaintiff had already been granted an expedited briefing schedule on his federal habeas claim and that the hearing would take place as scheduled on Mar. 8.

Magistrate Judge Donohue, in a Feb. 28 minute order, specified that plaintiff's response to the government's motion to dismiss was due on Mar. 3 and should address the form of relief sought for the habeas petition; how a habeas petition could proceed on a parallel track alongside removal proceedings; and why J.E.F.M. v. Lynch did not preclude jurisdiction. On Mar. 3, plaintiff filed a response to the government's motion to dismiss, and the government in turn filed a reply on Mar. 7.

On Mar. 8, the court held a hearing, indicated it would issue a report and recommendation (R&R) the following week, and ordered plaintiff to reply to government's Mar. 7 reply on the issue of standing. Plaintiff replied on Mar. 10.

On Mar. 14, Magistrate Judge Donohue issued an R&R on plaintiff's Feb. 22 emergency motion for conditional release pending final determination as well as defendants' motion to dismiss. 2017 WL 2954719 (W.D. Wash. Mar 14, 2017). On Mar. 16, plaintiff raised objections and requested expedited consideration by District Judge Ricardo Martinez; defendants responded on Mar. 21.

Then, on Mar. 24, Judge Ricardo Martinez adopted in part Magistrate Judge Donohue's Mar. 14 R&R, and denied plaintiff's objections. 2017 WL 1101370 (W.D. Wash. Mar. 24, 2017). Judge Martinez stated that since plaintiff conceded he was not challenging his removal proceedings, and DHS had the statutory discretion to detain him during these proceedings, plaintiff was not entitled to immediate release through the court. Judge Martinez also specified that if plaintiff were to request a bond redetermination hearing, the government must schedule it within a week from that request. Oddly, the government didn't object to the Mar. 14 R&R until a few days later, on Mar. 29; at that point, defendants filed an argument that district courts lack jurisdiction over matter such as this one.

As of Mar. 30, plaintiff had been released from custody, according to defendants. News reports confirmed the release, and indicated that plaintiff was released on bond and was still in immigration removal proceedings. On Apr. 7, plaintiff filed an unopposed motion to delay his response; Judge Martinez granted the motion on Apr. 10.

Plaintiff filed a Second Amended Complaint on Apr. 25. He sought relief to remedy his alleged unconstitutional arrest and detention, to restore his terminated DACA status, and to confirm the benefits he received under DACA were liberty and property interests protected by the Due Process Clause.

Defendants filed a motion to dismiss on June 26. They argued that the Court lacked jurisdiction because DHS's decision to place plaintiff in removal proceedings was an unreviewable exercise of agency discretion. Because DHS had initiated removal proceedings, plaintiff had to proceed through the immigration court system to challenge DHS's decision to terminate his DACA grant. Defendants also argued that plaintiff had no administrative or constitutionally protected claim to DACA benefits because DACA is an exercise of prosecutorial discretion and may be terminated at any time.

On July 10, the parties and Judge Martinez agreed that the Second Amended Complaint had rendered moot any objections to the R&R, and that no further action on the R&R was necessary.

On Aug. 7, plaintiff responded to defendants' June 26 motion to dismiss. Plaintiff argued that defendants could not invoke the INA and agency discretion to assert that judicial review did not apply to their actions. Instead, plaintiff argued, his claim centered on defendants' violation of DHS procedures and due process in revoking his DACA status and work permit. Defendants replied on Aug. 18.

Individual defendants responded to plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint on Aug. 10. They argued that the Court lacked jurisdiction over removal proceedings and that, in any event, plaintiff's Bivens claim against individual defendants was invalid because qualified immunity protected them.

Plaintiff then, on Sept. 20, filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of the individual defendants. The next day, in light of this, the court found moot defendants' Aug. 10 response to plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint. However, plaintiff did not dismiss his claims against the federal agency defendants. The court noted that it still needed to resolve these defendants' June 26 motion to dismiss. A motion hearing was scheduled for Nov. 2.

On Oct. 11, plaintiff filed a supplemental authority in support of his opposition to defendants' motion to dismiss. He argued that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California's recent preliminary injunction in Gonzalez Torres v. DHS should apply to his case. In that injunction, that court had vacated a DACA revocation after concluding that it had jurisdiction over then plaintiff’s challenge to the termination of his DACA status, and that DHS's failure to follow the DACA SOP's termination proceedings was unlawful.

On Nov. 2, Judge Martinez held a motion hearing on defendants' June 26 motion to dismiss. He then issued a Nov. 8 order denying defendants' motion. He found that the court had jurisdiction under the INA and APA, because plaintiff was not challenging the government's discretionary decision to terminate his DACA status, but rather defendants' alleged noncompliance with their own non-discretionary procedures when taking plaintiff into custody. Next, Judge Martinez found that plaintiff had stated plausible claims that the government violated the APA with conduct that was arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, and a due process violation. 2017 WL 5176720 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 8, 2017).

On Feb. 6, 2018, plaintiff moved for a preliminary injunction to reinstate his DACA status and work authorization pending a decision on the merits of his claims. He noted the Jan. 2018 injunction in Regents of the University of California v. DHS requiring the government to maintain the DACA program and allow DACA recipients to renew their status. Plaintiff, however, could not benefit from the Regents injunction because his DACA status was already invoked. He argued the Court should grant him a preliminary injunction because he was likely to succeed on the merits of his claims that defendants violated the APA and the Due Process Clause, and that he would suffer irreparable harm without relief, since he could not work or receive benefits.

This case is ongoing.

Ava Morgenstern - 02/10/2018


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Habeas Corpus
Over/Unlawful Detention
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Detention - conditions
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
ICE/DHS/INS raid
Status/Classification
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Bivens
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description The plaintiff is believed to be the first Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient arrested and detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during the Trump administration.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
Public Counsel
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Memorandum on Rescission Of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
www.dhs.gov
Date: Sep. 5, 2017
By: Department of Homeland Security
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  A Case That Could Determine the Future for Dreamers
www.newyorker.com
Date: Mar. 15, 2017
By: Blitzer, Jonathan (The New Yorker)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Case of 23-year-old DREAMer, Daniel Ramirez Medina v. Department of Homeland Security
www.publiccounsel.org
Date: Feb. 24, 2017
By: Public Counsel
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Our Stories: The Case of 23-year-old DREAMer, Daniel Ramirez Medina v. Department of Homeland Security
Public Counsel
Date: Feb. 16, 2017
(Public Counsel)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:17-cv-00218 (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0032-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/06/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus [ECF# 1]
IM-WA-0032-0003.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 02/13/2017
Order Directing Service, Setting Status Conference, and Setting Briefing Schedule [ECF# 30] (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0032-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/14/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petitioner’s Response Brief Re: Court’s February 14, 2017, Order Directing Service, Setting Status Conference, and Setting Briefing Schedule [ECF# 34]
IM-WA-0032-0005.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 02/16/2017
Order Setting Briefing Schedule [ECF# 39] (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0032-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/17/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 41]
IM-WA-0032-0004.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 02/21/2017
Emergency Motion for Conditional Release Pending Final Determination [ECF# 45]
IM-WA-0032-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/22/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Request for Immediate Hearing on Conditional Release [ECF# 51] (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0032-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/27/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Respondents' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 52]
IM-WA-0032-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/27/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Minute Order [ECF# 55] (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0032-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/28/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Report and Recommendation [ECF# 64] (2017 WL 2954719 / 2017 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 114477)
IM-WA-0032-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/14/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petitioner's Objections to Report and Recommendation and Request for Expedited Consideration [ECF# 66]
IM-WA-0032-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/16/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Respondents' Response to Petitioner's Objection to R&R [ECF# 68]
IM-WA-0032-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/21/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Adopting in Part Judge Donohue's R&R and Denying Petitioner's Motion for Conditional Release [ECF# 69] (2017 WL 1101370 / 2017 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 43640) (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0032-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/24/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint and Demand for Jury Trial [ECF# 78]
IM-WA-0032-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/25/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Federal Agency Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 90]
IM-WA-0032-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Opposition to Federal Agency Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 109]
IM-WA-0032-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/07/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Individual Defendants Hicks, Peter, Hernandez, and Lawrence's Motion to Dismiss Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 110]
IM-WA-0032-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/10/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Federal Agency Defendants' Reply In Support of Motion to Dismiss Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 111]
IM-WA-0032-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/18/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Supplemental Authority In Support of Plaintiff's Opposition to Federal Agency Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 113]
IM-WA-0032-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/11/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 116] (2017 WL 5176720) (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0032-0020.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/08/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 122]
IM-WA-0032-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/06/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Donohue, James P. (W.D. Wash.) [Magistrate]
IM-WA-0032-0001 | IM-WA-0032-0002 | IM-WA-0032-0006 | IM-WA-0032-0007 | IM-WA-0032-0010
Martinez, Ricardo S. (W.D. Wash.)
IM-WA-0032-0008 | IM-WA-0032-0020 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Matthew (Washington)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Barrera, John (Washington)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Boutrous, Theodore J. Jr. (California)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0009 | IM-WA-0032-0012 | IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0016 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-0021 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Chemerinsky, Erwin (California)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0009 | IM-WA-0032-0012 | IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Dettmer, Ethan D. (California)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0016 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Eidmann, Kathryn A. (California)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0016 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Gabriel, Jesse S. (California)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0016 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Garcia, Jose (Washington)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Hadaway, Elizabeth (California)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0016 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Hawkins, Mary Elizabeth (Washington)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Hudson-Price, Anne M. (California)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0016 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Litman, Leah M. (California)
IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-9000
London, Judith Maura (California)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0016 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Marquart, Katherine (California)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0016 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Romero, Luis Cortes (California)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0009 | IM-WA-0032-0012 | IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Rosenbaum, Mark Dale (California)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0009 | IM-WA-0032-0012 | IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0016 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-0021 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Tribe, Laurence (Massachusetts)
IM-WA-0032-0003 | IM-WA-0032-0004 | IM-WA-0032-0005 | IM-WA-0032-0009 | IM-WA-0032-0012 | IM-WA-0032-0014 | IM-WA-0032-0019 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Defendant's Lawyers D'Alessio, C. Salavtore (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0032-0017
Goldsmith, Aaron S. (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0032-0013 | IM-WA-0032-0015 | IM-WA-0032-0018 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Mason, Mary Hampton (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0032-0017
Peachey, William Charles (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0032-0013 | IM-WA-0032-0015 | IM-WA-0032-0018
Readler, Chad A. (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0032-0013 | IM-WA-0032-0015 | IM-WA-0032-0017 | IM-WA-0032-0018
Robins, Jeffrey S (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0032-0011 | IM-WA-0032-0013 | IM-WA-0032-0015 | IM-WA-0032-0018 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Walker, James Joseph (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0032-9000
Whitman, Sarah Elisabeth (District of Columbia)
IM-WA-0032-0017 | IM-WA-0032-9000
Other Lawyers Doran, Ambika K. (Washington)
IM-WA-0032-9000
Rummage, Stephen M. (Washington)
IM-WA-0032-9000

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