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Case Name Chhoeun v. Marin IM-CA-0108
Docket / Court 8:17-cv-01898 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
Two lawful permanent residents whose families fled Cambodia in the 1970s filed this class action lawsuit challenging the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") for arbitrarily and unlawfully detaining them. The plaintiffs represented other Cambodian refugees living in the U.S. since they ... read more >
Two lawful permanent residents whose families fled Cambodia in the 1970s filed this class action lawsuit challenging the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") for arbitrarily and unlawfully detaining them. The plaintiffs represented other Cambodian refugees living in the U.S. since they escaped the violence of the Khmer Rouge regime. The plaintiffs argued that ICE violated the Immigration and Nationality Act by revoking their release from its custody unlawfully, and by detaining them unlawfully when removal was not reasonably foreseeable and without individualized determinations of danger and flight risk. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief. Represented by Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the plaintiffs filed this case in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The complaint sought to declare a class of approximately 1,900 individuals. The plaintiffs stated that all class members escaped the Khmer Rouge regime and its "campaign of mass murder and torture" in Cambodia in the 1970s when they were young children. They have lived in the United States ever since, growing up "in communities in crisis...struggl[ing] with unaddressed trauma, poverty, and violence-ridden neighborhoods, with almost no culturally competent resources to address their needs." Class members "made mistakes in their youth," which led to involvement in the criminal justice system and removal proceedings. However, ICE subsequently released the class members after Cambodia disallowed repatriation. ICE allowed the class members to return to their communities but required them to regularly report back to demonstrate they were complying with the conditions of their release. Many of these class members established families in the U.S.

The complaint stated that as of October 2016, Cambodia suspended a 2002 repatriation agreement with the U.S. A year later, following a U.S. government freeze on further tourist visas to Cambodians until Cambodia agreed to aid the U.S. in removing Cambodian refugees, ICE began raiding Cambodian refugee homes and workplaces. The plaintiffs asserted that these raids were conducted "without cause and without providing procedural protections required by law...[and] without any evidence that Cambodia would now accept their repatriation." Further, the plaintiffs argued that they "received no adequate explanation of the reasons for detention, no opportunity to be heard regarding any purported reasons for detention, and no individualized consideration before a neutral decisionmaker regarding whether they pose a danger or flight risk that could warrant detention."

On October 30, the case was assigned to Judge Cormac J. Carney.

The case is ongoing.

Virginia Weeks - 11/04/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Over/Unlawful Detention
Immigration/Border
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - procedure
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
ICE/DHS/INS raid
Refugees
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description Cambodian refugees living in the U.S. since they escaped the violence of the Khmer Rouge regime
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
8:17−cv−01898−CJC−GJS (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0108-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/30/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Habeas Corpus Class Action Petition and Class Action Complaint For Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0108-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/27/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Carney, Cormac J. (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0108-9000
Standish, Gail J. Court not on record [Magistrate]
IM-CA-0108-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cho, Darlene M. (California)
IM-CA-0108-0001 | IM-CA-0108-9000
Commons, Sean A. (California)
IM-CA-0108-0001 | IM-CA-0108-9000
Hoq, Laboni Amena (California)
IM-CA-0108-0001 | IM-CA-0108-9000
Igra, Naomi Ariel (California)
IM-CA-0108-0001 | IM-CA-0108-9000
Kao, Winifred (California)
IM-CA-0108-0001 | IM-CA-0108-9000
Kim, Melanie Chun-Yu (California)
IM-CA-0108-0001 | IM-CA-0108-9000
Lapinig, Christopher M. (California)
IM-CA-0108-0001 | IM-CA-0108-9000
Lo, Kevin Chun Hoi (California)
IM-CA-0108-0001 | IM-CA-0108-9000
Ochi, Nicole K. (California)
IM-CA-0108-0001 | IM-CA-0108-9000
Prasad, Anoop (California)
IM-CA-0108-0001 | IM-CA-0108-9000
Zhao, Jingni (California)
IM-CA-0108-0001 | IM-CA-0108-9000

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