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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Centro Presente v. Trump IM-MA-0014
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-10340 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law
Case Summary
On Feb. 22, 2018, eight Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients from El Salvador and Haiti, as well as the Massachusetts immigrants' rights organization Centro Presente, filed this lawsuit. Represented by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, the plaintiffs challenged ... read more >
On Feb. 22, 2018, eight Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients from El Salvador and Haiti, as well as the Massachusetts immigrants' rights organization Centro Presente, filed this lawsuit. Represented by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, the plaintiffs challenged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s recent revocation of TPS for Salvadorians and Haitians living in the United States. The plaintiffs alleged that DHS violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment. The plaintiffs filed their complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, seeking mandamus (for DHS to carry out the INA's procedures for reviewing TPS), injunctive relief, and a declaratory judgment.

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. In such a situation, the Secretary may grant TPS to these nationals for six to eighteen months, with a possible extension following a review of country conditions. TPS allows recipients to remain and work legally in the United States.

DHS had initiated TPS for Salvadorians and for Haitians following devastating earthquakes in those countries in 2001 and 2010 respectively. After each 18-month period since then, DHS had reviewed the program, determined that the nationals could not yet return safely to their countries (due to severe safety, health, housing, and infrastructure problems, exacerbated by subsequent natural disasters), and extended the program.

This policy, however, ended with DHS's announcement that it would soon terminate TPS for Haitians (effective July 2019) and for Salvadorians (effective Sept. 2019). The plaintiffs argued that DHS's decision to end the program was based not on a change in conditions in El Salvador or Haiti, but rather on invidious discrimination toward black and Latino immigrants on the basis of race, ethnicity, and/or national origin. This racial animus allegedly appeared in President Trump's public remarks disparaging Haitians and Latin American immigrants.

This case was assigned to Judge Denise J. Casper.

On May 9, 2018, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, adding additional claims that the government violated the APA. The government moved to dismissed the complaint, the court (Judge Casper) granted it in part and denied in part on July 23, 2018. The court dismissed the plaintiffs' mandamus claim because they had not yet exhausted all other avenues of relief. Otherwise, the court denied the motion to dismiss, holding that it had subject matter jurisdiction and that President Trump did not have to be dismissed as a defendant at this stage. The court also held that the government had not proven elements to show its changed policy will survive review under the APA's arbitrary and capricious standard, including displaying awareness of its changed position, demonstrating good reasons for the new policy, and displaying awareness of the reliance upon the longstanding prior policy. The court also held that the plaintiffs' constitutional claims should not be dismissed, finding "that the combination of a disparate impact on particular racial groups, statements of animus by people plausibly alleged to be involved in the decision-making process, and an allegedly unreasoned shift in policy" were sufficient to suggest the policy shift was motivated by discriminatory purposes.

The case is ongoing.

Ava Morgenstern - 03/07/2018
Virginia Weeks - 07/25/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Racial profiling
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Cuban/Haitian entrant
Deportation - criteria
Employment
Status/Classification
Temporary protected status
Work authorization - criteria
Work authorization - procedures
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Other
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description Eight TPS recipients and a nonprofit immigrants' rights organization
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law
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
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Black and Latino Immigrants File Federal Lawsuit to Block Trump’s Termination of TPS
www.lawyerscom.org
Date: Feb. 22, 2018
By: Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:18-cv-10340 (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0014-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/23/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-MA-0014-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/22/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 21]
IM-MA-0014-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/09/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 47] (2018 WL 3543535) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0014-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/23/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Casper, Denise Jefferson (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0014-0003 | IM-MA-0014-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ercolano, Allison S. (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0014-9000
Espinoza-Madrigal, Ivan E (Texas)
IM-MA-0014-0001 | IM-MA-0014-0002 | IM-MA-0014-9000
Marandett, Eric J. (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0014-9000
Ni, Xing-Yin (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0014-9000
Nimni, Oren N. (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0014-0001 | IM-MA-0014-0002 | IM-MA-0014-9000
O'Keefe, Kevin P. (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0014-9000
Perez-Albuerne, Carlos J. (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0014-9000
Sellstrom, Oren M. (California)
IM-MA-0014-0001 | IM-MA-0014-0002 | IM-MA-0014-9000
Smychkovich, Natalia (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0014-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dugan, Joseph C. (District of Columbia)
IM-MA-0014-9000
Other Lawyers Haile, Andrew J. (Massachusetts)
IM-MA-0014-9000

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