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Case Name Moreno v. Nielsen IM-NY-0062
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-01135 ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
Case Summary
On Feb. 22, 2018, four noncitizens, on behalf of a proposed class of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, filed this lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Represented by the American Immigration ... read more >
On Feb. 22, 2018, four noncitizens, on behalf of a proposed class of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients, filed this lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its component U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Represented by the American Immigration Council and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the plaintiffs filed their complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, challenging the defendants' denial of their applications for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the Secretary of Homeland Security may find that a country's conditions temporarily prevent its nationals from returning safely, or that the country is unable to adequately handle the return of nationals. TPS allows recipients to remain and work legally in the United States. During the Trump administration, the defendants had announced the termination, phasing-out, or review of TPS for nationals of various countries. Following years of residence in the United States, TPS recipients from those countries then faced an uncertain future. Some applied for LPR status on an independent basis through sponsorship by a family member or employer. These plaintiffs alleged, however, that the defendants had denied their LPR applications based on an erroneous interpretation of the INA.

To adjust to lawful permanent resident status, a noncitizen must demonstrate to USCIS that she was inspected and admitted to the United States. 8 U.S.C. § 1255(a), (k). A TPS holder, for purposes of adjustment of status, is "considered as being in, and maintaining, lawful status as a nonimmigrant." 8 U.S.C. § 1254a(f)(4). In the Sixth and Ninth Circuits, courts have held that a TPS holder is deemed to have been inspected and admitted because she is deemed to be in "lawful nonimmigrant status," and an individual in such status necessarily has been inspected and admitted. But, plaintiffs alleged, in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits, the defendants had a policy of denying the LPR applications of TPS holders who initially entered without inspection and admission, refusing to give effect to 8 U.S.C. § 1245a(f)(4) and refusing to acknowledge that a grant of TPS constitutes the inspection and admission required to adjust status.

The plaintiffs challenged the defendants' policy under the INA and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) as contrary to law and exceeding the defendants' statutory authority. The plaintiffs sought mandamus (for the defendants to lawfully adjudicate the LPR applications) and declaratory and injunctive relief.

In their class certification motion, the plaintiffs also proposed a class of all TPS recipients in the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits, who initially entered the United States without inspection, who have applied or will apply for LPR status, and whose applications have or will be denied on the basis of USCIS's policy that TPS does not constitute an "admission" for purposes of adjusting status under 8 U.S.C. § 1255.

On Feb. 22, this case was assigned to Judge Roslynn R. Mauskopf.

On Mar. 26, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, but it is not yet publicly available.

This case is ongoing.

Ava Morgenstern - 04/21/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Government Services (specify)
Immigration/Border
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Employment
Status/Classification
Temporary protected status
Visas - criteria
Visas - procedures
Work authorization - criteria
Work authorization - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361
Defendant(s) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description TPS recipients whose LPR applications were denied
Indexed Lawyer Organizations American Immigration Council's Legal Action Center
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Ending Obstacles for Temporary Protected Status Recipients Seeking Legal Permanent Residence
www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org
Date: Feb. 22, 2018
By: American Immigration Council
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:18-cv-01135 (E.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0062-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/22/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory, Injunctive and Mandamus Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-NY-0062-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/22/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 2-1]
IM-NY-0062-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/22/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Mauskopf, Roslynn Renee (E.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0062-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Matthew (Washington)
IM-NY-0062-0001 | IM-NY-0062-0002
Kang, Leila (Washington)
IM-NY-0062-0001 | IM-NY-0062-0002
Kenney, Mary (District of Columbia)
IM-NY-0062-0001 | IM-NY-0062-0002
Macleod-Ball, Kristin A. (Massachusetts)
IM-NY-0062-0001 | IM-NY-0062-0002
Realmuto, Trina (Massachusetts)
IM-NY-0062-0001 | IM-NY-0062-0002 | IM-NY-0062-9000

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