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Case Name Calderon Jimenez v. Nielsen IM-MA-0015
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-10225-MLW ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
COVID 19 Summary: A member of a class of immigrants and their spouses suing ICE over its removal policies was ordered released on March 25. On March 24, 2020, the plaintiffs filed a motion for immediate release of that class member because he was detained in a facility where an employee tested ... read more >
COVID 19 Summary: A member of a class of immigrants and their spouses suing ICE over its removal policies was ordered released on March 25. On March 24, 2020, the plaintiffs filed a motion for immediate release of that class member because he was detained in a facility where an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

On February 5, 2018, an undocumented immigrant who was married to a U.S. citizen filed this suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The case was assigned to Judge Mark L. Wolf. The plaintiff sued the United States and Suffolk County under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241, the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The plaintiff had been unexpectedly arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in January 2018 after going to an interview with her husband as part of the process of her becoming a lawful permanent resident. She was now being detained, without having had notice or a hearing, and in danger of being deported under a 2002 removal order. In addition to claiming that ICE’s actions violated the INA and APA, the plaintiff alleged that her arrest and detainment violated her due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. The plaintiff, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts and private counsel, sought habeas and injunctive relief.

On February 6, 2018, the court ordered the parties to meet and attempt to settle the dispute by February 12. The parties met but were unable to reach an agreement. On February 13, 2018, the defendants released the plaintiff from custody, granted her a three-month stay of removal, and filed a motion for an extension of time to respond to the complaint. With the plaintiff released, the defendants stated that they planned to have the case dismissed for mootness.

Judge Wolf was not convinced that the defendants’ compliance with the plaintiff’s demands actually mooted the case because the court could not be sure that the defendants would not simply arrest plaintiff again if the case were closed. On February 15, the court granted the motion for an extension of time. However, it also ordered that the parties confer again to discuss what, if anything, needed to be litigated and that the defendants file an affidavit that contained details surrounding the plaintiff’s detainment and release.

On March 27, 2018, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that the case was now moot and that the plaintiff had no due process right to stay in the United States while she sought permanent resident status.

On April 5, 2018, Judge Wolf related two cases involving similar issues to the present case: Junqueira v. Souza (18-10307) and Dos Santos v. Nielsen (18-10310).

On April 10, 2018, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint, adding her husband and four other couples, each made up of one U.S. citizen and one non-citizen immigrant in danger of removal. The five couples sought injunctive relief on behalf of a class of all couples similarly situated. They also asked that one plaintiff, who was currently detained by ICE, be released or granted habeas relief. In response, the defendants filed a second motion to dismiss on April 23 with similar arguments as their initial motion to dismiss.

On April 30, 2018, the plaintiffs moved for class certification. The proposed class would consist of any U.S. citizen and his or her noncitizen spouse who (1) had a final order of removal and had not departed from the U.S. under that order; (2) was the beneficiary of a pending or approved I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed by the U.S. citizen spouse; (3) was not “ineligible” for a provisional waiver under 8 C.F.R. § 212.7(e)(4)(i) or (vi); and (4) was within the jurisdiction of the Boston ICE-ERO field office.

The same day, the plaintiffs also filed a motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and preliminary injunctive relief. They requested that the court enjoin the defendants from unduly interfering with the plaintiffs' access to the provisional waiver process.

On May 8, 2018, the court granted habeas relief to the one detained plaintiff to the extent she sought a bail hearing to determine whether she should be released. On June 11, the court issued an order finding that this plaintiff was being detained in violation of the Constitution because ICE had failed to follow its regulations, and that the court should itself decide whether her release was warranted. However, ICE had released the plaintiff subsequent to the court's May 8 oral ruling. ICE also released about 20 other noncitizens that it determined were being improperly detained. 317 F.Supp.3d 626.

The parties then engaged in discovery for several months.

On August 23, 2018, the Judge Wolf denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' first amended complaint in an oral ruling. On September 21, he issued a memorandum explaining his decision. Judge Wolf found that the court had jurisdiction over the case, that the plaintiffs had plausibly alleged that if their habeas petitions were dismissed, ICE would prevent them from pursuing provisional waivers in violation of due process, and that the previously-released plaintiff's claims regarding detention were not moot. 334 F.Supp.3d 370.

Judge Wolf subsequently ordered the parties to confer and determine whether they could settle the case and, if not, provide additional information regarding how ICE's conduct was affecting the proposed plaintiff class.

On December 7, 2018, Judge Wolf issued a decision finding that a statute prohibiting federal courts from granting class-wide injunctive relief against operation of noncitizen detention provisions did not prohibit the possible issuance of class-wide declaratory relief if a putative class was certified in this case. 399 F.Supp.3d 1.

On April 18, 2019, the plaintiffs moved for the court to open discovery for the named plaintiffs.

After several hearings, Judge Wolf issued an order on May 17, 2019, denying the defendants' motion to dismiss with respect to plaintiffs' claims under the INA, the Equal Protection clause, and the APA. He reserved judgment on the plaintiffs' contention that U.S citizen spouses have a liberty interest in remaining in the U.S. with their noncitizen spouses, and, therefore, a right to due process before their noncitizen spouses are deported. Judge Wolf also granted the plaintiffs' motion for class certification, certifying two different classes.

For the purposes of the plaintiffs' INA, Equal Protection, and APA claims, the court certified the following class:
"Any U.S. citizen and his or her noncitizen spouse who (1) has a final order of removal and has not departed the U.S. under that order; (2) is the beneficiary of a pending or approved I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed by the U.S. citizen spouse; (3) is not 'ineligible' for a provisional waiver under 8 C.F.R. § 212.7(e)(4)(i) or (vi); and (4) is within the jurisdiction of the Boston ICE-ERO field office."
For the purposes of the plaintiffs' Due Process claim, the court certified the following class:
"Any U.S. citizen and his or her noncitizen spouse who (1) has a final order of removal and has not departed the U.S. under that order; (2) is the beneficiary of an approved I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and conditionally approved I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal; (3) is not 'ineligible' for a provisional waiver under 8 C.F.R. § 212.7(e)(4)(i) or (vi); and (4) is within the jurisdiction of the Boston ICE-ERO field office."
Judge Wolf again instructed the parties to confer regarding a potential settlement.

On June 17, 2019, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and a stay of removal of a class member. Specifically, the plaintiffs wanted the court to compel the defendants to provide an explanation as to why ICE was detaining and intending to remove the class member. The class member later expressed that he did not want to delay his removal and the plaintiffs withdrew their motion.

Judge Wolf held an evidentiary hearing on June 27. He instructed the parties to file a joint statement memorializing his oral rulings at the hearing regarding notice to class members and the information regarding class members that the defendants must provide to class counsel. Judge Wolf then issued an order on August 7, 2019, in accordance with those rulings. In the order, he instructed the defendants to report information regarding class members to class counsel at the beginning of each month and provide prompt notice to class counsel when a class member is detained or when ICE intends to effectuate the removal of a class member.

On July 25, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a motion for order to show cause. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants had continued to violate the post-order custody regulations described above, and requested that the defendants be ordered to show cause why the court should not order the release of a group of detainees appearing on the defendants' July detention report.

After months of back-and-forth, the parties reported to the court on January 8, 2020, that they had resolved the issues related to the motion for order to show cause.

On January 27, 2020, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion to enjoin the removal of two class members. The plaintiffs later partially withdrew the motion, leaving the motion pending with respect to one class member.

Then, on March 24, 2020, the plaintiffs filed a motion for immediate release of that class member. The plaintiffs alleged that the class member was currently detained in a facility in which an employee had tested positive for COVID-19. The plaintiffs stated that the defendants had not contended that the class member posed a threat to public safety, but rather had led to his prolonged detention by impeding the resolution of the plaintiffs' January 27 motion. Given the escalating threat to the class member's health, the plaintiffs requested that the court order his release during the pendency of the January 27 motion. In the alternative, they requested that the court hold a prompt telephonic hearing regarding the basis for the class member's removal.

On March 25, Judge Wolf granted the plaintiffs' request and ordered the class member released no later than the following day, with the following conditions: he must reside with his wife and not leave their residence except for medical reasons, and he shall be subject to electronic monitoring by the defendants.

In the transcript of the court's March 25 hearing where Judge Wolf orally ordered the class member's release, he explained that he concluded that district courts do have the power to order the release of immigration detainees on bail. He emphasized that the class member here was a civil detainee (someone who had never been charged or convicted of a crime), and concluded that a substantial claim had been raised by the class member's habeas petition. Finally, Judge Wolf noted that extraordinary circumstances (the COVID-19 pandemic) made the grant of bail necessary to make the habeas remedy effective. He noted that detention enhances the risk of infection and that given the mortality risk associated with COVID-19, the class member's release was required pending the resolution of the plaintiffs' January 27 motion.

On April 7, 2020, Judge Wolf ordered the parties to confer and determine whether a noncitizen who had filed an emergency petition for a writ of habeas corpus and stay of deportation on April 6 is a member of the class certified in this case; and, if so, whether ICE violated any of the orders in this case with regard to him. The parties reported to the court that they agreed that this individual was not a class member and so Judge Wolf did not need to take any further action.

On April 16, the parties filed a joint status report. The parties explained that they had reached an agreement whereby the plaintiffs would withdraw their January 27 motion to enjoin removal of the class member that Judge Wolf ordered released on March 25. They further requested that the court lift its stay of removal as to the class member, and lift its order requiring that he not leave his residence except for medical reasons. ICE would then impose conditions of supervision pursuant to the parties' agreement. Judge Wolf subsequently entered an order memorializing those terms.

The case is ongoing.

Rebecca Strauss - 06/14/2018
Sam Kulhanek - 04/16/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Reporting
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Family reunification
Habeas Corpus
Over/Unlawful Detention
Placement in detention facilities
Immigration/Border
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - procedure
Detention - criteria
Detention - procedures
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Release Granted
COVID-19 Release Requested
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) Suffolk County
United States of America
Plaintiff Description Two classes of U.S. citizens and their noncitizen spouses who have final orders of removal, pending or approved I-130 petitions, are not ineligible for a provisional waiver under 8 C.F.R. § 212.7(e)(4)(i) or (vi), and are within the jurisdiction of the Boston ICE-ERO field office.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Habeas relief
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 02/05/2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Calderon v. Nielsen
RIACLU
Date: 2018
By: RIACLU
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:18-cv-10225 (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/03/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [ECF# 1]
IM-MA-0015-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/05/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 17] (2018 WL 910716) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0015-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 02/15/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Class Action Complaint and Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Under 28 U.S.C. § 2241 [ECF# 27]
IM-MA-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/10/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 95] (2018 WL 2899733) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0015-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/11/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 159] (334 F.Supp.3d 370) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0015-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/21/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 193] (399 F.Supp.3d 1) (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0015-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/07/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 253] (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0015-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/17/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Immediate Interim Release of Class Member Salvador Rodriguez-Aguasviva, or, Alternatively, to Schedule Telephonic Hearing [ECF# 500]
IM-MA-0015-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/26/2020
Source: Bloomberg Law
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 507] (D. Mass.)
IM-MA-0015-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/26/2020
Source: Bloomberg Law
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Judges Wolf, Mark Lawrence Court not on record show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-0003 | IM-MA-0015-0004 | IM-MA-0015-0005 | IM-MA-0015-0006 | IM-MA-0015-0007 | IM-MA-0015-0009 | IM-MA-0015-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cantin, Shirley X. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-9000
Costello, Matthew (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-0008 | IM-MA-0015-9000
Cox, Jonathan A. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-0001 | IM-MA-0015-0008 | IM-MA-0015-9000
Gillespie, Kathleen M. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-0001 | IM-MA-0015-0008 | IM-MA-0015-9000
Lafaille, Adriana (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-0001 | IM-MA-0015-0002 | IM-MA-0015-0008 | IM-MA-0015-9000
McCullough, Colleen M. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-0008 | IM-MA-0015-9000
Provazza, Stephen Nicholas (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-0001 | IM-MA-0015-0008 | IM-MA-0015-9000
Prussia, Kevin S. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-0001 | IM-MA-0015-0008 | IM-MA-0015-9000
Segal, Matthew (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-0001 | IM-MA-0015-0002 | IM-MA-0015-0008 | IM-MA-0015-9000
Sewall, Michaela P. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-0008 | IM-MA-0015-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Larakers, Mary (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-9000
Piemonte-Stacy, Eve (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-9000
Weiland, William (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-MA-0015-9000
Weintraub, J. Max (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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