University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
view search results
page permalink
Case Name Casa De Maryland v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security IM-MD-0006
Docket / Court 8:17-cv-02942-RWT ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
Take Care
Attorney Organization Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
This lawsuit, brought on October 5, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, challenged President Trump's revocation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The plaintiffs were a group of nonprofit organizations and DACA recipients who sought to enjoin ... read more >
This lawsuit, brought on October 5, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, challenged President Trump's revocation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The plaintiffs were a group of nonprofit organizations and DACA recipients who sought to enjoin the federal government from ending the program. Not only did the plaintiffs stand to lose benefits and security they had relied upon, but the plaintiffs argued that the rescission was motivated by discriminatory animus toward individuals from Mexico and Central America. As a result, the plaintiffs contended that revoking DACA violated Fifth Amendment due process and equal protection, and the Administrative Procedure Act. They sought equitable estoppel, injunctive relief, and declaratory judgment.

In 2012, the Obama Administration Department of Homeland Security created the DACA program by issuing a series of policy changes. The program offered work permits and temporary protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who had been brought to the United States as children. 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 acts within the next six months. As the complaint highlights, the Obama administration in promoting DACA made key promises to immigrants: that any information they provided in the application process would not be used for immigration enforcement, 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 included a series of nonprofit organizations devoted to civil rights, and in particular immigrant rights. The plaintiffs also included individuals who came to the U.S. as children from various nations in South America. Some were students, others were working, and still others had started families in the U.S. They argued that the DACA rescission would lead to loss of work authorization and many vital benefits, loss of the ability to attend college, risk of deportation, breaking up of families. Further, the plaintiffs highlighted that the government had issued "guidance suggesting an intention to welch on those promises and to share that information with ICE and CBP."

The case was assigned to Judge Roger W. Titus.

On Nov. 15, 2017, the government moved to dismiss the case. The court denied in part and granted in part the government's motion to dismiss on Mar. 5, 2018.

The court enjoined the government from using or sharing information provided by DACA applicants through the DACA program for enforcement or deportation purposes. The court granted the plaintiffs' estoppel claim, finding that there would be "substantial risk for irreparable harm." The court ordered that if the government "needs to make use of an individual Dreamer’s information for national security or some purpose implicating public safety or public interest," it could petition the court for permission on a case-by-case basis. 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35373.

The court also declared that the DACA rescission memo was valid and constitutional. The court found that the memo "neither curtails DHS’s discretion regarding individual immigration reviews, nor does it prevent the agency from granting Dreamers deferred action status again in the future," making "DACA and its rescission...more akin to non-binding policy statements...not subject to notice-and-comment requirements" under the APA. The court also found that the decision to rescind DACA was not arbitrary and capricious under the APA, "but rather was a carefully crafted decision supported by the Administrative Record...[I]t is irrelevant whether this Court, a judge in California or New York, or even a justice on the Supreme Court might have made a different decision while standing in the shoes of DHS." Because the government rescinded the program under the "reasonable belief that DACA was unlawful, the decision to wind down DACA in an orderly manner was rational." 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35373.

Finally, the court dismissed the plaintiffs' Equal Protection and Due Process claims. The court found no merit in the equal protection claim because the executive branch was fulfilling its duty to enforce the law in rescinding DACA, there was no affirmative showing of bad faith, and a facially valid motive to rescind was sufficient. The court also found that DACA did not create any due process entitlements nor did it curtail DHS' discretion in individual immigration reviews. 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35373.

The court ordered the case closed. The government then expressed uncertainty about the scope of the injunction, and on Mar. 12, the court directed the parties to collaborate to reach agreement on the specifics of implementing the injunction. On Mar. 15, the court approved the parties' joint proposed textual revisions.

On April 27, 2018, the plaintiffs appealed the case to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The parties' briefs can be found under the documents section of this page. Oral argument occurred before the Honorable Robert B. King, Albert Diaz and Julius N. Richardson on December 11, 2018.

On May 17, 2019, the Fourth Circuit issued its opinion affirming in part and reversing in part the district court's decision. The appeals court affirmed the district court’s rulings that the plaintiffs’ claims are justiciable and that DACA’s rescission did not require notice and comment under the APA. But it reversed the district court’s ruling sustaining the rescission of the policy as valid under 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A). The court vacated DACA’s rescission as arbitrary and capricious and remanded the matter for further proceedings. On the issue of the use of information provided by DACA applicants, the court of appeals reversed the district court’s ruling finding the plaintiffs entitled to injunctive relief on equitable estoppel grounds, reversed the grant of summary judgment in the plaintiffs’ favor, and vacated the injunction. Finally, the court of appeals found it unnecessary to decide the plaintiffs’ constitutional challenges to DACA’s rescission and the related changes to the Department’s policies governing use of information provided by DACA applicants, and thus vacated the district court’s judgment on those issues and dismissed those claims. 2019 WL 2147204.

On May 24, 2019, the government filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking review of the Fourth Circuit's decision. The government also requested expedited consideration of its petition, which the Supreme Court denied on June 3, 2019.

On June 28, 2019, the Supreme Court agreed to view the petitions in three DACA cases: Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen, Regents of the University of California v. DHS, and NAACP v. Trump.

The Supreme Court heard oral argument on November 12, 2019, on the issues of whether DHS's decision to wind down the DACA policy is judicially reviewable and whether DHS’s decision to rescind DACA is lawful. The decision of the Court was released in June 2020.

Following its decision in Dep’t of Homeland Security v. Regents, the Supreme Court denied the Government’s petition for certiorari in this case, and effective June 30, 2020, the stay on the Fourth Circuit’s mandate was lifted.

After the Supreme Court released its decision in the three DACA cases and denied certiorari in this case, plaintiff’s counsel sent a letter to Judge Grimm on July 17, 2020 asking that the District Court retain jurisdiction to ensure appropriate relief will be granted. The letter raised questions about the government’s compliance with the Fourth Circuit’s mandate and asked that the government be required to explain the efforts it was taking to comply with the mandate including a discussion of its efforts:
(i) to rescind the memoranda issued by both Acting Secretary Duke and Secretary Nielsen as well as any associated guidance issued to DHS employees,
(ii) to begin processing properly submitted initial DACA applications as it would have under the status quo ante restored by the Fourth Circuit’s mandate, and
(iii) to begin processing properly submitted applications for advance parole

Since the plaintiffs prevailed, and the government’s effort to repeal deportation protections for Dreamers was “arbitrary and capricious,” the letter also asked for award of costs and fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act 28 USC Sec. 2412.

On the same day, Judge Grimm issued an order that:
1. Declared the DACA recission and actions taken by the Government to rescind the DACA policy “arbitrary and capricious, in violation of 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A);”
2. Restored the DACA policy to its pre-September 5, 2017 status; and
3. Enjoined the government from implementing or enforcing the DACA recission or taking any other action to rescind DACA that is not in compliance with applicable law.

In the order, Judge Grimm also applied the doctrine of constitutional avoidance to deny the plaintiff’s estoppel claim and injunction request, pertaining to DACA’s information-sharing policies, because the policies in question were vacated.

Following the order, plaintiffs sent Judge Grimm a letter to notify him that the government did not appear to be complying with the order because the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services had not updated their website to reflect that the policies announced on September 5, 2017 being declared void.

On July 28, 2020, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf issued a memorandum (Wolf Memorandum) outlining how the Department should proceed on DACA matters.

On August 14, plaintiffs filed a motion requesting the “Court issue an order to show cause why defendants should not be held in contempt or, in the alternative, to compel compliance with the Fourth Circuit mandate to restore DACA to its pre-September 5, 2017, status.” Two weeks later, Defendants filed a response, which included an argument that there was no basis for an order restoring DACA to its pre-September 5, 2017 status because the plaintiffs did not challenge the Wolf Memorandum.

On September 4, plaintiffs filed a reply to the government’s response where they, for the first time, questioned the validity of the Wolf Memorandum on the grounds that “Acting Secretary” Wolf was “illegally appointed” under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act. As of October 25, 2020, the order to show cause remained pending. The case is ongoing.

Virginia Weeks - 10/08/2017
Virginia Weeks - 08/05/2018
Eva Richardson - 05/20/2019
Sam Kulhanek - 02/20/2020
Brittany Smith - 10/28/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Benefit Source
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
General
Juveniles
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Immigration/Border
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Asylum - criteria
Asylum - procedure
Constitutional rights
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - judicial review
Deportation - procedure
Family
ICE/DHS/INS raid
Status/Classification
National Origin/Ethnicity
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) Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description Nonprofit civil rights organizations and individual DACA recipients
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Washington Lawyers' Committee
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 10/05/2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-CA-0095 : Regents of University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Cal.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Reconsideration of the June 15, 2012 Memorandum Entitled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children”
PACER
Date: Jul. 28, 2020
By: Chad F Wolf
[ 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)
8:17-cv-2942 (D. Md.)
IM-MD-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/21/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Reply Brief for Appellees [Ct. of App. ECF# 38]
IM-MD-0006-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/14/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-MD-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/05/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 42] (2018 WL 8334869) (D. Md.)
IM-MD-0006-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/05/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opening Brief of Appellants [Ct. of App. ECF# 26]
IM-MD-0006-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opening and Response Brief for Appellees [Ct. of App. ECF# 32]
IM-MD-0006-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/01/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opening and Response Brief for Appellees [Ct. of App. ECF# 32]
IM-MD-0006-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/01/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Response and Reply Brief of Appellants [Ct. of App. ECF# 34]
IM-MD-0006-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/31/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 57]
IM-MD-0006-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/17/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 97] (D. Md.)
IM-MD-0006-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/17/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Diaz, Albert (Fourth Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0008
Grimm, Paul William (D. Md.) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0009 | IM-MD-0006-9000
King, Robert Bruce (Fourth Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0008
Richardson, Julius Ness (Fourth Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0008
Titus, Roger W. (D. Md.) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Aiyar, Priya R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0003 | IM-MD-0006-0005 | IM-MD-0006-9000
Bower, Elizabeth J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0001 | IM-MD-0006-0003 | IM-MD-0006-0005 | IM-MD-0006-9000
Clark, Kevin B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0001 | IM-MD-0006-0003 | IM-MD-0006-0005 | IM-MD-0006-9000
Corkery, Dennis A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0001 | IM-MD-0006-0003 | IM-MD-0006-0005 | IM-MD-0006-9000
Dillingham, Emily Newhouse (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0003 | IM-MD-0006-0005
Flores, Gaela K. Gehring (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0001
Freedman, John A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0001 | IM-MD-0006-0003 | IM-MD-0006-0005 | IM-MD-0006-9000
Handley, Matthew K. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0001 | IM-MD-0006-9000
Jorjani, Raha (California) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-9000
Karpatkin, Jeremy (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0001
Katz, Nicholas (Maryland) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0001
Mathews, Kyle (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-9000
Mayer, Steven L. (California) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0001
Perkins, Nancy L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0001 | IM-MD-0006-9000
Quereshi, Ajmel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0001 | IM-MD-0006-0003 | IM-MD-0006-0005 | IM-MD-0006-9000
Ragland, Thomas K. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-9000
Schechter, Ronald A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0001 | IM-MD-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davis, Kathryn Celia (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-9000
Hunt, Joseph H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0006
Hur, Robert K. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0004 | IM-MD-0006-0006 | IM-MD-0006-0007
Mooppan, Hashim M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0004 | IM-MD-0006-0006 | IM-MD-0006-0007
Pezzi, Stephen M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-9000
Pulham, Thomas (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0004 | IM-MD-0006-0007
Readler, Chad Andrew (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0004 | IM-MD-0006-0007
Shumate, Brett (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-9000
Stern, Marc (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0004 | IM-MD-0006-0006 | IM-MD-0006-0007
Thorp, Galen N. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-9000
Westmoreland, Rachael (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-9000
Wright, Abby C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0006-0004 | IM-MD-0006-0006 | IM-MD-0006-0007

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
view search results
page permalink

- top of page -