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Case Name O.A. v. Trump IM-DC-0059
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-02718-RDM ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Case Summary
On November 20, 2018, a group of asylum seekers challenged the federal government's latest asylum policy prohibiting people who enter the U.S. along the southern border somewhere other than a designated port of entry from obtaining asylum. Specifically, the plaintiffs challenged an interim final ... read more >
On November 20, 2018, a group of asylum seekers challenged the federal government's latest asylum policy prohibiting people who enter the U.S. along the southern border somewhere other than a designated port of entry from obtaining asylum. Specifically, the plaintiffs challenged an interim final rule promulgated on Nov. 9, 2018 declaring all those subject to a presidential proclamation concerning the southern border ineligible for asylum, as well as the “Presidential Proclamation Addressing Mass Migration Through the Southern Border of the United States” signed the same day blocking the entry of all people entering the U.S. without inspection at the southern border. The plaintiffs claimed violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief. The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and assigned to Magistrate Judge Randolph D. Moss.

The plaintiffs were six noncitizens who entered the U.S. and sought asylum. Two were a father and daughter who fled Honduras to escape a gang threatening to kill them, fearing the local police would not be willing to protect them. Another fled from Mexico, seeking safety from her gang-affiliated partner who repeatedly beat her and threatened to kill her. A fourth plaintiff was an unaccompanied minor from Honduras who sought to escape a credible fear of murder from his father - a police officer who abused him - as well as from a gang the plaintiff refused to join on moral grounds. Another two plaintiffs were a mother and her son from Honduras seeking asylum to escape the violence and threat of death posed by her husband. None had been granted asylum.

The plaintiffs argued that federal law allowed non-citizens to seek asylum regardless of their immigration status or how they entered the U.S. Further, federal law established procedural safeguards required during removal proceedings that aimed to give asylum seekers a fair review process. The plaintiffs also argued that under treaty obligations, the U.S. could not deny asylum on the basis of where the noncitizen entered the U.S. But the government's new rule, part of its broader "zero-tolerance" policy on immigration, "shutters access to the asylum system for thousands of men, women, and children that the Administration concedes are likely to have meritorious asylum claims." Faced with even longer wait times at the border, the complaint argued, asylum seekers already in dangerous situations and with scarce financial resources were thus left seriously vulnerable to violence from criminal organizations near the border.

The case is ongoing.

Virginia Weeks - 11/28/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Immigration/Border
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Asylum - criteria
Asylum - procedure
Border police
Border wall
Refugees
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), 18 U.S.C. § 1589
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description Six noncitizens seeking asylum in the U.S.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 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)
Docket(s)
1:18-cv-2718 (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0059-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/29/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-DC-0059-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/20/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Moss, Randolph Daniel (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0059-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bakst, Eleni Rebecca (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0059-0001
Borroto, Gianna (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0059-0001
Heins, Matthew D. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0059-0001
Hentoff, Thomas Goodman (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0059-0001 | IM-DC-0059-9000
Hughes, Anwen (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0059-0001
Loyo, Ruben (Connecticut) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0059-0001
McCloud, Charles L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0059-0001
Oberwetter, Ellen E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0059-0001 | IM-DC-0059-9000
Reyes, Ana C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0059-0001
Roth, Charles G. (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0059-0001
Vieux, Hardy (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0059-0001
Zwick, Keren Hart (Illinois) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0059-0001

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