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Case Name CASA de Maryland v. Trump IM-MD-0009
Docket / Court 8:18-cv-00845-GJH ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
On Mar. 23, 2018, three Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients from El Salvador, as well as the immigrants' rights organization Casa de Maryland which has many Salvadorian members, filed this lawsuit. Represented by the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and the ... read more >
On Mar. 23, 2018, three Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients from El Salvador, as well as the immigrants' rights organization Casa de Maryland which has many Salvadorian members, filed this lawsuit. Represented by the Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs and the private law firm Akin Gump Strauss, the plaintiffs challenged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s recent revocation of TPS for Salvadorians living in the United States. The plaintiffs alleged that DHS violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment as well as the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The plaintiffs filed their complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, seeking injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment.

Under the 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 following a devastating earthquake in that country in 2001 respectively. After each 18-month period since then, DHS had reviewed the program, determined that the nationals could not yet return safely to El Salvador (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 Jan. 2018 announcement that it would soon terminate TPS 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, but rather on invidious discrimination toward Latino immigrants on the basis of race, ethnicity, and/or national origin. This racial animus allegedly appeared in President Trump's public remarks disparaging Latin American immigrants. The plaintiffs also argued that DHS's action was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the APA.

This case was assigned to Judge George Jarrod Hazel.

On Nov. 28, 2018, the court (Judge Hazel) largely denied DHS' motion to dismiss. 355 F.Supp.3d 307. The court held that it had subject-matter jurisdiction because the TPS statute did not bar the plaintiffs' claims. The court found that the statute's language and scheme did not unambiguously preclude judicial review, and that the alternative methods of review of the plaintiffs' claims that DHS offered were meaningless. The court upheld the plaintiffs' equal protection claim, finding that the court owed the government less deference in this case and that President Trump's clearly racist statements regarding Latino immigrants provided sufficient evidence to make the claim plausible. For similar reasons, the court also upheld the plaintiffs' substantive due process claim. The court upheld the APA claim in so far as it alleged the government's actions were arbitrary and capricious because they were motivated by racial discrimination and because the government failed to conduct an objective assessment of El Salvador's conditions. But the court dismissed the APA claim in so far as it alleged the government's actions were arbitrary and capricious because the government did not consider the reliance interests of those implicated. The court concluded that the TPS statute did not require the government to make such considerations. Finally, the court kept President Trump as a defendant, concluding that although "ultimately, relief against the President himself is extraordinarily unlikely in this case, none of the authority cited by Defendants requires that the President be dismissed at this early stage."

DHS then filed its answer to the complaint on December 12, 2018. In light of the TPS termination date of September 9, 2019, the plaintiffs moved for a scheduling order to resolve the dispute before then. They argued the protection of the Ramos v. Nielsen preliminary injunction issued in the Northern District of California was insufficient, as the government had appealed that order to the Ninth Circuit. DHS opposed the motion and filed a cross-motion to stay the litigation until the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion on the Ramos preliminary injunction. Both parties filed a series of responses. With the government shutdown, DHS moved to stay proceedings because of a lapse in appropriations. The court granted the DHS’ second motion on January 8, 2019, and stayed proceedings until after the government reopened.

By the end of the month, DHS had received funding, and the plaintiffs sought to amend their proposed scheduling order. Following a conference, the court ordered its schedule and the parties proceeded to discovery, which is set to end May 17. The case is still ongoing as of April 3, 2019.

Ava Morgenstern - 04/08/2018
Virginia Weeks - 12/01/2018
Erica Lignell - 04/03/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Racial profiling
Immigration/Border
Constitutional rights
Deportation - criteria
Employment
ICE/DHS/INS raid
Status/Classification
Temporary protected status
Work authorization - criteria
Work authorization - procedures
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
United States
Plaintiff Description Three TPS recipients from El Salvador and an immigrant rights' organization
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Washington Lawyers' Committee
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
Case Listing IM-CA-0134 : Ramos v. Nielsen (N.D. Cal.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Washington Lawyers’ Committee Challenges TPS Termination
www.washlaw.org
Date: Mar. 26, 2018
By: Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  CASA Challenges Trump’s Unconstitutional End of TPS for El Salvador
www.wearecasa.org
Date: Mar. 23, 2018
By: CASA de Maryland
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Immigrant Org Fights Nix Of Protected Status For Salvadorans
www.law360.com
Date: Mar. 23, 2018
By: Kevin Penton (Law360)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
8:18-cv-00845-GJH (D. Md.)
IM-MD-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/25/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-MD-0009-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/23/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 43] (2018 WL 6192367) (D. Md.)
IM-MD-0009-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 11/28/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Hazel, George Jarrod (D. Md.) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0009-0002 | IM-MD-0009-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Corkery, Dennis A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0009-0001 | IM-MD-0009-9000
Handley, Matthew K. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0009-0001
Richards, Jillie (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0009-9000
Schulman, Steven H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0009-0001 | IM-MD-0009-9000
Shah, Pratik A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0009-9000
Webster, Stephanie (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0009-9000
Wolverton, Caroline Lewis (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0009-9000
Yang, Tiffany S. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0009-0001 | IM-MD-0009-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dugan, Joseph C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0009-9000
Kirschner, Adam D. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MD-0009-9000

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