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Case Name Muslim Advocates v. U.S. Department of Justice IM-CA-0118
Docket / Court 3:18-cv-02137-JSC ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Refugee/Visa Order
Attorney Organization Muslim Advocates
Case Summary
This suit, filed on April 9, 2018, challenged a report created and issued by defendants the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Executive Order 13780: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States required this report, ... read more >
This suit, filed on April 9, 2018, challenged a report created and issued by defendants the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Executive Order 13780: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States required this report, known as the Initial Section 11 Report. Muslim Advocates—a nonprofit organization—filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, arguing that the report was biased and misleading against Muslims and the threat they pose to the United States. The plaintiff claimed this further stigmatized Muslims in the U.S. while stoking anti-Muslim sentiments and filed the complaint under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) for violations of the Information Quality Act (IQA). Specifically, the plaintiff sought a retraction and correction of the report to bring it in compliance with the IQA. The case was assigned to Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley.

The IQA and its implementing guidelines required that when federal agencies publish information to the public, the information meet threshold levels of quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity. Executive Order 13780 ("the EO"), which President Trump signed on March 6, 2017, significantly restricted individuals from six Muslim-majority countries from being able to enter the U.S. Further, Section 11 of the EO required DHS, in consultation with the DOJ, to collect and publish information regarding foreign nationals and terrorism. This requirement included information on foreign nationals who have participated in terrorism-related activities in the U.S., foreign nationals who have become radicalized since entering the U.S., honor killings, and "any other information relevant to public safety and security." According to the complaint, the report misled the public in several ways: (1) by focusing on international terrorism thereby artificially inflating the proportion of terrorist incidents committed by foreign nationals relative to native born citizens, (2) by including individuals who committed acts of terror abroad but had minimal ties to the U.S., and (3) by counting foreign-born individuals rather than foreign nationals in its figures. The plaintiff argued that such misleading information perpetuated the Trump administration's discrimination against Muslims as well as general anti-Muslim stereotypes and sentiments. As such, the plaintiff argued that the report was harmful to Muslim communities.

On August 2, 2018, the DOJ and DHS filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims on the grounds that the plaintiff lacked standing and did not have a right of action under the IQA. On August 22, the DOJ and DHS requested the court to stay the case because their IQA guidelines allow petitioners to submit an administrative appeal of IQA responses. On August 23, 2018, the court ordered the matter stayed until November 28, 2018.

Virginia Weeks - 05/22/2018
Dawn Lui - 10/15/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Religion discrimination
General
Classification / placement
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Racial profiling
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Immigration/Border
Status/Classification
National Origin/Ethnicity
Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description Muslim Advocates is a civil rights organization that has a particular focus on issues impacting Muslim communities and immigrants. The organization seeks to educate the public as well as prevent discrimination and the spread of inaccurate information regarding Muslims.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Muslim Advocates
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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  Presidential Executive Order on Resuming the United States Refugee Admissions Program with Enhanced Vetting Capabilities
White House
Date: Oct. 24, 2017
By: United States
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats
www.whitehouse.gov
Date: Sep. 24, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Implementing Executive Order 13780 Following Supreme Court Ruling -- Guidance to Visa-Adjudicating Posts
Reuters
Date: Jun. 28, 2017
By: U.S. Department of State
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Presidential Memorandum for the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence
The White House
Date: Jun. 14, 2017
By: Donald Trump (White House)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States
Date: Mar. 6, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (President of the United States)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Memorandum to the Acting Secretary of State, the Acting Attorney General, and the Secretary of Homeland Security
The White House
Date: Feb. 1, 2017
By: Donald F. McGahn II, Counsel to the President (The White House)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Statement by Acting Attorney General Sally Yates
https://www.nytimes.com/
Date: 1/30/2017
By: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates (Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Statement By Secretary John Kelly on the Entry of Lawful Permanent Residents into the United States
https://www.dhs.gov/
Date: 1/29/2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (Department of Homeland Security)
Citation: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/01/29/statement-secretary-john-kelly-entry-lawful-permanent-residents-united-states
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  OLC Memo Re: Proposed Executive Order Entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States"
Date: Jan. 27, 2017
By: Curtis Gannon (U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Executive Order: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 27, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:18-cv-2137 (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0118-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/23/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0118-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/09/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation to Stay Case Pending Plaintiff's Administrative Appeals and Order [ECF# 24] (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0118-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/23/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Corley, Jacqueline Scott (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
IM-CA-0118-0002 | IM-CA-0118-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Callahan, Matthew W. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0118-0001 | IM-CA-0118-9000
Shebaya, Sirine (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0118-0001 | IM-CA-0118-9000
Smith, Johnathan James (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0118-0001 | IM-CA-0118-9000
Thurston, Robin Frances (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0118-0001 | IM-CA-0118-0002 | IM-CA-0118-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Lo, Michelle (California)
IM-CA-0118-0002 | IM-CA-0118-9000
Tse, Alex G. (California)
IM-CA-0118-0002

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