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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 that TPS status protected foreign nationals from deportation and allowed 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) required a factual inquiry to terminate TPS for a particular country after the designation had been granted; it could not 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 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 March 16, 2018, the defendants wrote to the Court arguing that the plaintiffs did not qualify for expedited processing and that plaintiffs' proposed production schedule was not practicable. The defendants requested additional time to process. On Mar. 23, 2018, the plaintiffs opposed this request.

By April 4, 2018 the parties had agreed on a proposed briefing schedule, which Judge Abrams approved, specifying that each agency was required to produce 1500 pages monthly of the requested documents. The defendants moved for summary judgment on April 27, 2018, and the plaintiffs moved for summary judgement on May 18, 2018.

While the court considered the motions, similar cases involving the termination of Haiti's TPS were litigated, most notably Ramos v. Nielsen, et al., 3:18-cv-01554 (N.D. Cal.) and Saget v. Trump, et al., 1:18-cv-01599 (E.D.N.Y.). The documents submitted for discovery in these cases were re-released to the plaintiffs in this case. These releases occurred on March 27, 2019 and April 10, 2019.

Following the release of this additional information, and due to parallel injunctive litigation, the plaintiffs agreed to voluntarily dismiss their case on April 23, 2019. This case is now closed.

Virginia Weeks - 02/02/2018
Ava Morgenstern - 05/05/2018
Carter Powers Beggs - 10/23/2019


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Required disclosure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Records Disclosure
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
Causes of Action Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 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 Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filing Year 2018
Case Closing Year 2019
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  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: 04/23/2019
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]
show all people docs
Judges Abrams, Ronnie (S.D.N.Y.) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0060-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Morawetz, Nancy (New York) show/hide docs
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) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0060-0001 | IM-NY-0060-0003 | IM-NY-0060-0004 | IM-NY-0060-0005 | IM-NY-0060-9000
Simpson, Elizabeth (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0060-0001 | IM-NY-0060-0002 | IM-NY-0060-0003 | IM-NY-0060-0004
Zota, Sejal (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
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) show/hide docs
IM-NY-0060-0003 | IM-NY-0060-0004 | IM-NY-0060-9000

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