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Case Name National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Trump IM-DC-0032
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-01907-CRC ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
Case Summary
In 2012, the Obama administration created the DACA program through policy statements by the Department of Homeland Security. The program offered work permits—and temporary protection from deportation—to undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States as children. On September 5 ... read more >
In 2012, the Obama administration created the DACA program through policy statements by the Department of Homeland Security. The program offered work permits—and temporary protection from deportation—to undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States as children. On September 5, 2017, President Trump announced that he would end the program in March 2018 unless Congress acted to provide statutory authorization for the program and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memorandum on September 5, 2017 ending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). This lawsuit, filed on September 18, 2017 in the US. District Court for the District of Columbia, was one of many cases challenging President Trump's revocation of the Deferred Action for Childhood (DACA) program.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People ("NAACP") initially filed this complaint, and later amended to add the American Federation of Teachers and United Food Commerical Workers International Union as plaintiffs. The plaintiffs, represented by the law firm Cohen Milstein, argued that the termination of DACA violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Fifth Amendment's due process guarantees. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief. The district court held that DACA's recession was arbitrary and capricious and ordered the Department of Homeland Security to process new and renewal DACA applications. The defendants ultimately appealed to the Supreme Court, and on June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court in this case.


In the complaint, the plaintiff stated that the Trump Administration, by ending DACA, had "unlawfully [reneged] on [its] promise to protect young, undocumented immigrants of color living in the United States." The plaintiff also noted that 95% of DACA recipients were people of color, including people of African, Latin American, Asian, and Middle Eastern descent. Some DACA recipients were also NAACP members. Thus, the NAACP brought the suit in its organizational capacity on behalf of its DACA-recipient members.

The complaint asserted that DACA allowed children brought to the United States who met specific criteria to request deferred action for two years, subject to renewal. In addition to protecting grantees from being arrested solely due to their immigration status, DACA allowed its grantees to receive public benefits like social security, to enroll in higher education institutions, and to increase income and assets. All throughout the implementation process, the federal government enforcing DACA clearly represented that it would not use the information obtained in the application process to enforce immigration policy. Furthermore, the government promised that recipients would only lose their lawful presence for reasons of fraud, criminal conduct, national security, or public safety.

The plaintiff argued that these recipients would now lose their protections and be at risk for deportation, especially since the grantees provided the federal government with sensitive information in their applications, and "termination of the DACA Program is accompanied by withdrawal of the guarantee that information provided by DACA applicants and registrants will not be used in deportation proceedings."

The plaintiff alleged that the defendants had violated Fifth Amendment due process by rescinding DACA, and would do so again by using sensitive information in deportation proceedings. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendants violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), by carrying out government action without a "legitimate and reasoned basis." Specifically, the automatic DACA termination, with no notice or opportunity to respond, ran contrary to USCIS's DACA Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Finally, the plaintiff alleged that the defendants violated the Regulatory Flexibility Act, by carrying out regulatory action that would harm small organizations such as the plaintiff.

The plaintiff sought declaratory relief, as well as injunctive relief preventing defendants from withdrawing DACA and from using DACA recipients' application information in actions against them, their families, or their employers.

The case was assigned to Judge Christopher R. Cooper on Sept. 19, 2017.

On Oct. 24, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint. The complaint added as plaintiffs the American Federation of Teachers and the United Food and Commercial Workers' International Union. All organizational plaintiffs had DACA-registrant members.

On Nov. 8, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint and a motion for summary judgment. The defendants argued that the plaintiffs lacked standing (as they were not injured as organizations nor did they identify injured members); that the defendants' recession of DACA was a non-justiciable exercise of enforcement discretion; that a rational explanation supported the defendants' decision under the APA; and that the plaintiffs lacked a protected due process interest in DACA. The plaintiffs also filed a motion for summary judgment.

On Dec. 15, the plaintiffs moved to submit declarations from nine pseudonymous DACA-recipient members of the organizational plaintiffs. On Jan. 3, 2018, the case was re-assigned to Judge John D. Bates. On Jan. 18, this case was consolidated with Trustees of Princeton University v. U.S.A., with NAACP v. Trump designated as the lead case.

On April 24, 2018, Judge John D. Bates held that the district court had both jurisdiction and statutory authority to hear the plaintiffs' APA and constitutional claims. 298 F. Supp. 3d 209. The court concluded that under the APA, DHS’ September 5, 2017 decision to rescind DACA was arbitrary and capricious, for DHS failed to adequately explain why the program was unlawful: “Neither the meager legal reasoning nor the assessment of litigation risk provided by DHS to support its rescission decision is sufficient to sustain termination of the DACA program.” The Court thereby granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment as to the substantive APA claim, but denied their motion as to the procedural APA claim, and denied their motion for preliminary injunctive relief on their information-sharing claim. The decision to rescind DACA was vacated and remanded to DHS, which meant that DHS must accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications. However, the Court stayed its vacatur order for 90 days to allow the agency an opportunity to better explain its rescission decision.

On August 3, 2018, the Court denied the government’s motion to revise the April 2018 order. 315 F. Supp. 3d 457. The Court held that while the government had provided additional policy grounds concerning the decision to rescind DACA, “most of these simply repackage legal arguments previously made, and hence are ‘insufficiently independent from the agency’s evaluation of DACA’s legality’ to preclude judicial review or to support the agency’s decision.” The Court noted that it had already once given DHS the opportunity to provide explanations, so it would not do so again, though it did stay the order of vacatur for 20 days. In relation to the relief granted by the Court, it specifically noted that DHS does not lack the statutory or constitutional authority to rescind DACA, but rather, that DHS must give a rational explanation for its decision to rescind DACA. Several days later, the government appealed to the DC Circuit Court.

On August 14, 2018, the government filed a motion for the district court to stay its April 24 decision, pending the appeal in the D.C. Circuit, and a motion to clarify that the August 3 order was a final, appealable judgment and that the plaintiffs’ remaining constitutional claims were moot. Three days later, the district court granted a limited stay of its April 24 order as it applies to initial DACA applications and applications for DACA-based advance parole so as to preserve the status quo pending the appeal (as suggested by the plaintiffs). 321 F. Supp. 3d 143. It also granted the motion to clarify.

In November 2018, while the appeal was pending, the Government simultaneously filed three petitions for certiorari before judgment, in this case, Regents of University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, also challenging the DACA rescission. In Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen and Regents of University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the district courts had granted a nationwide injunction to maintain the DACA program. All three cases were appealed to the Circuit Courts as well. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard oral argument on the appeal from NAACP on February 22, 2019.

On June 28, 2019, the Supreme Court granted the petitions and consolidated NAACP v. Trump, Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen, and Regents of University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 139 S. Ct. 2779. The three consolidated cases were heard under the caption of Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California. 139 S.Ct. 2779. The Supreme Court heard oral argument on November 12, 2019, on the issues of whether DHS's decision to wind down the DACA policy was judicially reviewable and whether DHS’s decision to rescind DACA was lawful. The plaintiffs argued that the defendants did not follow proper APA procedures.

On June 18, 2020, in an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts (joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor), the Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in all three cases, affirming the judgment of the district court in this case. 140 S. Ct. 1891. It held that the DACA rescission was subject to judicial review under the APA and that the DHS secretary had offered insufficient justification to rescind the program.

As a result, on July 23, 2020, the D.C. Circuit remanded the case to the district court, with instructions to remand to the Department of Homeland Security for further action consistent with the opinion of the Supreme Court. The district court remanded the same day.

The Department of Homeland Security then issued a memorandum entitled "Reconsideration of the June 15, 2012 Memorandum Entitled 'Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children" on July 28, 2020. In this memo, Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf stated that he would reconsider DACA's future in light of the Supreme Court's decision. In the interim, the memo instructed USCIS to reject all initial requests for DACA, to only grant advance parole to current DACA beneficiaries in exceptional circumstances, and grant DACA renewals for only one-year, rather than two-year, periods.

In a joint status report on September 16, 2020, the plaintiffs indicated that they did not intend to challenge the July 28th Wolf Memorandum, but reserved the right to do so in the future or to challenge any future agency actions with respect to DACA. They asked the court to continue holding the cases in abeyance.

Though the plaintiffs in this case declined to challenge the July 28th Wolf Memorandum, the plaintiffs in Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen and State of New York v. Trump challenged the memo, arguing that Acting Secretary Wolf was not lawfully appointed to his position and did not have authority to issue the memo and that the memo was arbitrary and capricious under the APA. The court in Batalla Vidal and State of New York found that Acting Secretary Wolf was not lawfully serving as Acting Secretary and did not have authority to issue the memo. On December 4, 2020, the court in Batalla Vidal and State of New York ordered DHS to fully reinstate DACA as it existed prior to the attempted recession in September 2017. The order required DHS to accept initial DACA applications, accept advance parole applications, and grant DACA renewals for two-years. On December 7, 2020 USCIS updated their website and indicated that effective that day, USCIS would accept initial applications, extend one-year DACA renewals to two-years, and accept applications for advance parole.

In January 2021, President Biden took office and immediately shifted the executive's approach to DACA. On the day of his inauguration (January 20, 2021), President Biden signed a memorandum directing DHS and the Attorney General “to preserve and fortify DACA." As of May 14, 2021, this case is ongoing.

Ava Morgenstern - 01/19/2018
Dawn Lui - 11/07/2018
Sam Kulhanek - 02/20/2020
Averyn Lee - 06/18/2020
Emily Kempa - 05/14/2021


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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
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Confidentiality
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - procedure
Employment
Status/Classification
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Work authorization - criteria
Work authorization - procedures
National Origin/Ethnicity
Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) President of the United States
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description The NAACP, AFT union, and UFCW union, in their organizational capacity on behalf of their DACA-recipient members
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Declaratory Judgment
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 09/18/2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-DC-0038 : Trustees of Princeton University v. U.S. (D.D.C.)
IM-NY-0055 : State of New York v. Trump (E.D.N.Y.)
IM-CA-0095 : Regents of University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Cal.)
IM-NY-0051 : Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen (E.D.N.Y.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Wolf v. Vidal
SCOTUSblog
Date: Jun. 18, 2020
By: SCOTUS Blog
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Trump v. NAACP
https://www.scotusblog.com/case-files/cases/trump-v-naacp/
Date: Jun. 18, 2020
By: SCOTUSBlog (SCOUTBlog)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  NAACP Files Lawsuit in Defense of DACA Eligible People of Color
www.naacp.org
Date: Oct. 18, 2017
By: NAACP
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  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 ]

Court Docket(s)
D.D.C.
07/27/2020
1:17-cv-1907
IM-DC-0032-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D.D.C.
09/18/2017
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-DC-0032-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
10/24/2017
[Proposed] First Amended Complaint [ECF# 10]
IM-DC-0032-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
11/08/2017
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment [ECF# 15]
IM-DC-0032-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
12/15/2017
Association Plaintiffs' Motion for Nine Declarants to Proceed by Pseudonym and Memorandum of Law in Support Thereof [ECF# 18]
IM-DC-0032-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
04/24/2018
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 23] (298 F.Supp.3d 209)
IM-DC-0032-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
08/03/2018
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 27] (315 F.Supp.3d 457)
IM-DC-0032-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
08/17/2018
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 32] (321 F.Supp.3d 143)
IM-DC-0032-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
11/05/2018
Petition for a Writ of Certiorari before Judgment
IM-DC-0032-0008.pdf | Detail
Source: Supreme Court website
State Supreme Court
12/06/2018
Brief for the States of Texas, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and West Virginia, and Governor Phil Bryant of the State of Mississippi as Amici Curiae in Support of Petitioners
IM-DC-0032-0009.pdf | Detail
Source: Supreme Court website
U.S. Supreme Court
12/17/2018
Brief in Opposition
IM-DC-0032-0010.pdf | Detail
Source: Supreme Court website
State Supreme Court
01/04/2019
Reply Brief for the Petitioners
IM-DC-0032-0011.pdf | Detail
Source: Supreme Court website
D.D.C.
06/18/2020
Opinion of the Court
IM-DC-0032-0012.pdf | Detail
Source: Supreme Court website
show all people docs
Judges Alito, Samuel A. Jr. (Third Circuit, SCOTUS) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0012
Bates, John D. (D.C. Circuit, FISC, D.D.C.) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0005 | IM-DC-0032-0006 | IM-DC-0032-0007 | IM-DC-0032-9000
Breyer, Stephen Gerald (First Circuit, SCOTUS) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0012
Gorsuch, Neil M. (Tenth Circuit, SCOTUS) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0012
Kagan, Elena (SCOTUS) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0012
Kavanaugh, Brett M. (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0012
Roberts, John Glover Jr. (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0012
Sotomayor, Sonia (S.D.N.Y., Second Circuit, SCOTUS) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0012
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berry, Bradford (Maryland) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0001 | IM-DC-0032-0002 | IM-DC-0032-0010
Bowser, Renee L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0002 | IM-DC-0032-0004
Clark, Nicholas (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0002 | IM-DC-0032-0004
Cooper, Channing M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0002 | IM-DC-0032-0004
Cuenin, Ari (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0009
Ellis, Jonathan Y. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0008
Francisco, Noel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0008 | IM-DC-0032-0011
Hawkins, Kyle (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0009
Horwitz, Julia (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0001 | IM-DC-0032-0002 | IM-DC-0032-0004 | IM-DC-0032-9000
Hunt, Joseph H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0008
Louard, Janette (Maryland) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0001 | IM-DC-0032-0002 | IM-DC-0032-0004
Mateer, Jeffrey C (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0009
McNamara, Douglas J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Mooppan, Hashim M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0008
Paxton, Ken (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0009
Pulham, Thomas (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0008
Rutter, Jessica (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0002 | IM-DC-0032-0004
Selesnick, Julie S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Sellers, Joseph Marc (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0001 | IM-DC-0032-0002 | IM-DC-0032-0004 | IM-DC-0032-0010 | IM-DC-0032-9000
Stern, Mark B (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0008
Strom, David J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0002 | IM-DC-0032-0004 | IM-DC-0032-0010
Sullivan, John C. (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0009
Wall, Jeffrey B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0008
Wright, Abby C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0008
Defendant's Lawyers Bailey, Kate (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0003 | IM-DC-0032-9000
Bhabha, Ishan K (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0010
Ford, Peter J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0010
Harrison, Lindsay C (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0010
Hirsch, Sam (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0010
Markham, Wesley (New Jersey) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0010
Perrelli, Thomas J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0010
Pezzi, Stephen M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-9000
Randall, Cynthia L. (Washington) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0010
Readler, Chad Andrew (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0003
Ricketts, Jennifer (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0003
Romero, Ramona E. (New Jersey) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0010
Shumate, Brett (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0003
Trepp, Alex (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0010
Tyler, John Russell (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-0003
Westmoreland, Rachel Lynn (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0032-9000

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