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Case Name National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security IM-NY-0060
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-00659-AT ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Trump Administration FOIA cases
Case Summary
On Jan. 25, 2018, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) and a law professor brought this Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as the U ... read more >
On Jan. 25, 2018, the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG) and a law professor brought this Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), as well as the U.S. Department of State (DOS). The plaintiffs sought to shed light on the government's decision to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals, including its justification and legality. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and assigned to Judge Ronnie Abrams on Jan. 29, 2018.

NIPNLG is a nonprofit organization that provides legal assistance to immigrants and advocacy on behalf of noncitizens. The other plaintiff is a professor at the New York University School of Law, where she works on human rights issues and in particular Haiti and Haitian immigrants in the United States.

The plaintiffs sought records related to the government's determination to terminate TPS for Haitian nationals. The plaintiffs argued that "[t]imely disclosure of these records is critically important because of the looming termination of legal immigration status for tens of thousands of Haitian nationals living in the United States." The complaint explained TPS status protects foreign nationals from deportation and allows them to access work authorization. To get TPS, the individual's country of origin must be designated as warranting TPS and the individual must apply and be approved for the status. The plaintiffs argued that the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires a factual inquiry to terminate TPS for a particular country after the designation has been granted; it cannot be terminated without reason. According to the complaint, DHS most recently designated Haiti for TPS in 2015 and then extended the designation by six months in May 2017 in light of extensive hurricane damage. DHS terminated TPS for Haiti on Nov. 20, 2017 -- according to the plaintiffs, without justification -- leaving 58,000 Haitian nationals in the U.S. at the risk of deportation and loss of work authorization.

On Feb. 15, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, noting that DOS had recently issued a travel warning for Haiti. The plaintiffs also added as a defendant U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which they alleged had not substantively responded to a Nov. 2017 FOIA request.

On Mar. 16, defendants wrote to the Court arguing that plaintiffs did not qualify for expedited processing and that plaintiffs' proposed production schedule was not practicable. Defendants requested additional time to process. On Mar. 23, plaintiffs opposed this request.

By Apr. 4, the parties had agreed on a proposed briefing schedule, which Judge Abrams approved, specifying that each agency must produce 1500 pages monthly. Defendants moved for summary judgment on Apr. 27, plaintiffs will oppose and cross-move by May 18, defendants will respond by May 28, and plaintiffs will reply by June 7.

The case is ongoing.

Virginia Weeks - 02/02/2018
Ava Morgenstern - 05/05/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Racial profiling
Immigration/Border
Cuban/Haitian entrant
Deportation - criteria
Employment
Status/Classification
Temporary protected status
Work authorization - criteria
Work authorization - procedures
National Origin/Ethnicity
Other
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. ยง 552
Defendant(s) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild and NYU Law professor
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 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Legal Nonprofit Files FOIA Suit Over Haitians' TPS Status
www.law360.com
Date: Jan. 25, 2018
By: Tiffany Hu (Law360)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Lawsuit Seeks Disclosure of Trump Policy Behind the Termination of Haitian TPS
www.nationalimmigrationproject.org
Date: Jan. 25, 2018
By: National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:18-cv-00659-AT (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0060-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 2]
IM-NY-0060-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/25/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 30]
IM-NY-0060-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/15/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
[Parties' Joint Letter to the Judge] [ECF# 38]
IM-NY-0060-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/16/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Letter [ECF# 41]
IM-NY-0060-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/08/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Letter Regarding Production Schedule [ECF# 49]
IM-NY-0060-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/23/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Torres, Analisa Nadine (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0060-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Morawetz, Nancy (New York)
IM-NY-0060-0001 | IM-NY-0060-0003 | IM-NY-0060-0004 | IM-NY-0060-0005 | IM-NY-0060-9000
Rofe, Jessica Louise (New York)
IM-NY-0060-0001 | IM-NY-0060-0003 | IM-NY-0060-0004 | IM-NY-0060-0005 | IM-NY-0060-9000
Simpson, Elizabeth (Massachusetts)
IM-NY-0060-0001 | IM-NY-0060-0002 | IM-NY-0060-0003 | IM-NY-0060-0004
Zota, Sejal (Massachusetts)
IM-NY-0060-0001 | IM-NY-0060-0002 | IM-NY-0060-0003 | IM-NY-0060-0004 | IM-NY-0060-0005 | IM-NY-0060-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hayes-Deats, Caleb (New York)
IM-NY-0060-0003 | IM-NY-0060-0004

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