University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Muslim Advocates v. U.S. Department of State IM-DC-0033
Docket / Court 1:17-cv-02080-TSC ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Trump Administration FOIA cases
Attorney Organization Muslim Advocates
Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On Oct. 5, 2017, the organizations Muslim Advocates, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, brought this suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs sued the Department of State (DOS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ... read more >
On Oct. 5, 2017, the organizations Muslim Advocates, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, brought this suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs sued the Department of State (DOS), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the latter's component U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Plaintiffs are nonprofit organizations promoting civil rights and civil liberties. According to their complaint, they seek information on persons affected by the Trump administration's travel ban, so that they may advise and assist travelers. Plaintiffs noted that, according to both the Executive Orders and the latest Proclamation, CBP is authorized to grant case-by-case waivers for people whom the travel ban would otherwise exclude.

The complaint alleged that on June 27, 2017, plaintiffs had submitted a FOIA request to defendants seeking records created on or after Jan. 27, 2017, concerning the waiver provisions, including:
1. Policies, practices, and procedures that went into effect on or after Jan. 27, 2017, relating to criteria for evaluating individual waiver requests;
2. Policies, practices, and procedures that went into effect on or after Jan. 27, 2017, concerning how officers should determine when a waiver request should be granted;
3. Internal guidance on how to assess when denying an individual's entry "would cause undue hardship" or when "his or her entry would not pose a threat to national security and would be in the national interest";
4. Processes for accepting and adjudicating waiver requests;
5. The person or office to whom waiver requests should be directed;
6. The number of waiver requests received by defendants or any other DHS component agency;
7. The number of waiver requests granted by defendants or any other DHS component agency, and the reasoning for the grants;
8. The number of waiver requests denied by defendants or any other DHS component agency, and the reasoning for the denials;
9. Any guidance provided to defendants' field personnel regarding the waiver provisions of the Second EO;
10. Any memoranda providing guidance for defendants or any other DHS component agency, on enforcement of the waiver provisions of the Second EO in light of federal court decisions granting preliminary injunctions against the implementation of the EO.
The complaint further alleged that, to date, plaintiffs had not received a substantive response from defendants. Plaintiff sought a disclosure order under FOIA, legal fees, and expedited action.

On Oct. 6, 2017, the case was assigned to Judge Tanya S. Chutkan. The parties filed a status report on Feb. 20, 2018, stating that all defendant agencies had initiated searches. Status reports filed in June and October indicated that the government had produced some responsive records and that the review and production of additional records was ongoing.

This case is ongoing.

Ava Morgenstern - 04/21/2018
Virginia Weeks - 10/30/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Religion discrimination
General
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Immigration/Border
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Status/Classification
Visas - criteria
Visas - procedures
National Origin/Ethnicity
Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit religious organization
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552
Defendant(s) U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of State
Plaintiff Description Nonprofit advocacy organizations assisting travelers affected by the Trump administration's travel ban
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Muslim Advocates
Southern Poverty Law Center
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 None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Americans United Asks Court To Block Trump’s Muslim Ban 3.0
www.au.org
Date: Oct. 6, 2017
By: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  SPLC sues Trump administration for failing to provide information on Muslim ban waiver process
www.splcenter.org
Date: Oct. 6, 2017
By: Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Advocates Sue Trump Administration for Failing to Provide Information on Muslim Ban Waiver Process
www.muslimadvocates.org
Date: Oct. 6, 2017
By: Muslim Advocates
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:17-cv-2080 (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0033-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/30/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint For Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-DC-0033-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/05/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Report [ECF# 11]
IM-DC-0033-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/20/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Report [ECF# 12]
IM-DC-0033-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/15/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Chutkan, Tanya Sue (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0033-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bergman, Andrew D. (Texas)
IM-DC-0033-0002 | IM-DC-0033-0003
Blanchard, Charles (Arizona)
IM-DC-0033-0002 | IM-DC-0033-0003
Dillingham, Emily Newhouse (Illinois)
IM-DC-0033-0002 | IM-DC-0033-0003
Katskee, Richard B. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0033-0002 | IM-DC-0033-0003 | IM-DC-0033-9000
Shebaya, Sirine (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0033-0002 | IM-DC-0033-0003 | IM-DC-0033-9000
Smith, Johnathan James (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0033-0003 | IM-DC-0033-9000
Weiner, David J. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0033-0001 | IM-DC-0033-0002 | IM-DC-0033-0003 | IM-DC-0033-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Kishore, Deepthy (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0033-0002 | IM-DC-0033-0003 | IM-DC-0033-9000
Readler, Chad A. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0033-0002
Roth, Dena Michal (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0033-9000
Shapiro, Elizabeth J. (District of Columbia)
IM-DC-0033-0002 | IM-DC-0033-0003

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