University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name State of California v. Department of Homeland Security IM-CA-0096
Docket / Court 3:17-cv-05235-MEJ ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
Case Summary
On September 11, 2017, several states initiated this action in the District Court for the Northern District of California, challenging President Trump’s attempted revocation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The plaintiffs alleged that DACA provided invaluable protections to young ... read more >
On September 11, 2017, several states initiated this action in the District Court for the Northern District of California, challenging President Trump’s attempted revocation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The plaintiffs alleged that DACA provided invaluable protections to young people across their states and allowed them to pursue education and employment. In turn, DACA recipients have contributed to state economies and the educational experiences of all students in state school systems. The complaint argued that the proposed revocation violated Fifth Amendment Due Process and Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The plaintiffs sought equitable estoppel to prevent the government from divulging the personal information of DACA recipients, as well as an order from the court enjoining the government from rescinding the program.

In 2012, the Obama administration created the DACA program via Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy statements. The program offered work permits and temporary protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States as children (and who meet some additional requirements). As of 2017, there were an estimated 800,000 DACA recipients. On September 5, 2017, President Trump announced that he was ending the program in March unless Congress acted within the next six months. As the plaintiffs' complaint highlights, the Obama administration made key promises to applicants when it promoted DACA: that any information they provided in the application process would not be used for immigration enforcement purposes, and that, barring criminal activity or fraud in their DACA applications, DACA recipients would be able to renew their status and keep their benefits.

The plaintiffs were the states of California, Maine, Minnesota, and Maryland. The complaint noted that California in particular was home to more DACA recipients than any other state in the country (over 200,000). The states argued that rescinding DACA "violates fundamental notions of justice" by leaving recipients without access to jobs and making them vulnerable to deportation. The complaint also alleged that DACA recipients were required to divulge confidential information in order to apply for the program, including information about their immigration status and address. Recipients were previously assured that the information would be kept confidential. By revoking DACA, the plaintiffs argued that the government created a "confusing and threatening situation" in which that private information was at risk of being used against recipients in future immigration proceedings.

The case was assigned to Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James on Sept. 11, 2017, and reassigned to Judge William Alsup on Sept. 18, after it was related to Regents of the University of California v. Department of Homeland Security (No. 17-cv-05211). The cases were subsequently related to Garcia v. USA (No. 17-cv-5380), City of San Jose v. Trump, (No. 17-cv-5329), and County of Santa Clara v. Trump (No. 17-cv-5823).

On October 6, in a related challenge led by Regents of University of California before this judge, the government filed the administrative record, available here, which included a series of government documents pertaining to DACA from its inception up to the decision to rescind it. On October 17, after the University in the related case moved to compel the defendants to complete the administrative record, the court ordered them to do so in all related cases, including this one. The court found that the defendants did not produce all documents leading to the rescission: specifically, they failed to produce related documents that Acting DHS Secretary Duke did not directly review.

The defendants moved to stay further proceedings at this court on October 18 in light of their intent to appeal this ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The court denied the requested stay on October 19, and the defendants appealed the next day by filing a petition for a writ of mandamus to the District Court and an emergency motion for stay. On October 23, the District Court replied to the Ninth Circuit's invitation to answer the government's petition, stating it would not stay proceedings in light of the narrow window of time until DACA was intended to end (March 5, 2018).

On November 16, the Ninth Circuit denied the defendants' motion for a writ of mandamus and vacated the stay of discovery and record expansion that had been entered, and the District Court immediately ordered the federal government to file an augmented administrative record by November 22. On November 17, the federal government filed an emergency motion that it intended to file an application for mandamus with the US Supreme Court no later than November 20. The government requested that the Ninth Circuit stay its order pending the Supreme Court's resolution of that petition. On November 21, the Ninth Circuit dismissed the federal government's motion, noting that jurisdiction was with the District Court and instructing the federal government that further relief must be sought in a new petition for mandamus.

Meanwhile, in the District Court, Judge Alsup on November 20 agreed to stay all discovery until December 22 when the augmented administrative record would be due.

On December 1, 2017, the government filed notice that it appealed the Ninth's Circuit denial of mandamus relief and applied for a stay to the Supreme Court. On December 20 in a per curiam opinion, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit's denial and remanded the case, arguing that the District Court should have stayed implementation of the October 17 order compelling the government to complete the administrative record. The Supreme Court stated that the lower court should have "first resolved the Government’s threshold arguments" (that the Acting Secretary’s determination to rescind DACA is unreviewable because it is “committed to agency discretion,” 5 U. S. C. §701(a)(2), and that the Immigration and Nationality Act deprives the District Court of jurisdiction). Either of those arguments, if accepted, likely would eliminate the need for the District Court to examine a complete administrative record. 138 S.Ct. 443 (2017). The same day, the District Court stayed the order compelling the government to complete the administrative record. 138 S.Ct. 371 (2017).

On January 9, 2018, the court dismissed the government's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction from November 1, 2017, under rule 12(b)(1) and provided provisional relief to the plaintiffs. The order indicated the court would separately dismiss the government's motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim under rule 12(b)(6). The court ordered a nationwide preliminary injunction, ordering that DACA remain in effect on the same terms and conditions that existed prior to the rescission. However, the government did not need to process new applications from individuals who had never before received deferred action. 279 F.Supp.3d 1011. The court then granted in part and denied in part the government's motion to dismiss on January 12, dismissing the plaintiffs' Regulatory Flexibility Act and equitable estoppel claims as well as the individual plaintiffs' declaratory relief claims. The court sustained the plaintiffs' APA, due process, and equal protection claims (with a few exceptions from the various complaints of the related cases). 298 F.Supp.3d 1304.

The government appealed to the Ninth Circuit on January 16, 2018. The government also sought certiorari from the US Supreme Court on January 18 while the Ninth Circuit appeal was pending, arguing that the Supreme Court's immediate review was warranted because of how long the appeal would take in the Ninth Circuit and how time-sensitive the issue was. The Supreme Court denied cert without prejudice on February 26, 2018, indicating the justices assumed "that the Court of Appeals will proceed expeditiously to decide this case." 138 S.Ct. 1182.

The related cases were consolidated in the Ninth Circuit for the purposes of appeal. In February and March 2018, the parties and amici filed their briefs, which can be found here.

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's rulings on November 8, 2018. The panel held that the government's decision to rescind DACA was reviewable because the government was not exercising discretion in rescinding the program, but rather acting out of a belief that DHS lacked the authority to issue DACA in the first place, and so rescission was necessary. The panel further concluded the decision was reviewable because it did not fall within one of the three discrete occasions when the INA bars judicial review of DHS decisions. 2018 WL 5833232.

As to the merits of a preliminary injunction, the panel held that "DACA was a permissible exercise of executive discretion," and that the government's belief that DACA was illegal was wrong. Thus, the panel concluded the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in showing that the rescission was arbitrary and capricious under the APA. The panel also held that a nationwide injunction was appropriate because it "promotes uniformity in immigration enforcement, and is necessary to provide the plaintiffs here with complete redress." Id.

The case is ongoing.

Jamie Kessler - 09/25/2017
Virginia Weeks - 11/08/2018
Sam Kulhanek - 11/29/2018


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
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
General
Juveniles
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Records Disclosure
Immigration/Border
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Constitutional rights
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - judicial review
Deportation - procedure
Family
Legalization/Amnesty
Status/Classification
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description States of California, Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-CA-0095 : Regents of University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0099 : Garcia v. United States of America (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0098 : City of San Jose v. Trump (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0106 : County of Santa Clara v. Trump (N.D. Cal.)
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 ]

  Implementation of Executive Order 13768, "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
The Washington Post
Date: May 22, 2017
By: Jefferson Sessions (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Executive Order 13767: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 27, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
Citation: 82 Fed. Reg. Presidential Documents 8793 (Jan. 27, 2017)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Executive Order 13768: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 25, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:17-cv-5235 (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0096-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/08/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint For Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0096-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/11/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Relating Cases [ECF# 18] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0096-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/18/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Relating Cases [ECF# 22] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0096-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/20/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Relating Cases [ECF# 23] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0096-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/20/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Re Motion to Complete Administrative Record [ECF# 39] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0096-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/17/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Re Motion to Stay Proceedings [ECF# 42] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0096-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/19/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order re Deposition of Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Duke [ECF# 46] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0096-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/24/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Supreme Court] [ECF# 80] (86 U.S. 4009)
IM-CA-0096-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/21/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying FRCP 12(b)(1) Dismissal and Granting Provisional Relief [ECF# 83] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0096-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/09/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Under FRCP 12(b)(6) [ECF# 88] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0096-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/12/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion (908 F.3d 476)
IM-CA-0096-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/08/2018
Source: Westlaw
Judges Alsup, William Haskell (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0096-0002 | IM-CA-0096-0003 | IM-CA-0096-0004 | IM-CA-0096-0005 | IM-CA-0096-0006 | IM-CA-0096-0009 | IM-CA-0096-0010 | IM-CA-0096-9000
Kim, Sallie Court not on record [Magistrate]
IM-CA-0096-0007 | IM-CA-0096-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Becerra, Xavier (California)
IM-CA-0096-0001
Chuang, Christine (California)
IM-CA-0096-9000
Fretz, Rebekah A. (California)
IM-CA-0096-9000
Frosh, Brian E. (Maryland)
IM-CA-0096-0001
Herman, Susan P. (Maine)
IM-CA-0096-0001 | IM-CA-0096-9000
Lee, Ronald H. (California)
IM-CA-0096-9000
Mills, Janet T. (Maine)
IM-CA-0096-0001
Newman, Michael L. (California)
IM-CA-0096-0001
Passe, Julianna F. (Minnesota)
IM-CA-0096-0001 | IM-CA-0096-9000
Radez, Kathleen Vermazen (California)
IM-CA-0096-9000
Shivpuri, Shubhra (California)
IM-CA-0096-9000
Sullivan, Steven M. (Maryland)
IM-CA-0096-0001 | IM-CA-0096-9000
Swanson, Lori (Minnesota)
IM-CA-0096-0001
Zahradka, James (California)
IM-CA-0096-0001 | IM-CA-0096-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Rosenberg, Brad P. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0096-9000
Shumate, Brett (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0096-9000
Other Lawyers Chopra, Apalla U (California)
IM-CA-0096-9000
Gray, Danielle C. (New York)
IM-CA-0096-9000
Leheny, Emma (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0096-9000
Sokoler, Jennifer B (New York)
IM-CA-0096-9000

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