University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Bhattarai v. Nielsen IM-CA-0145
Docket / Court 3:19-cv-00731 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
Attorney Organization ACLU of Southern California
Asian Americans Advancing Justice / AAJC
National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
Case Summary
On February 10, 2019, a group of beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) from Honduras and Nepal and their U.S.-citizen children filed this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU Foundation of Southern ... read more >
On February 10, 2019, a group of beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (“TPS”) from Honduras and Nepal and their U.S.-citizen children filed this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and private attorneys, sued the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), seeking declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs. The plaintiffs challenged the Trump Administration’s recent decisions to terminate the TPS designations for Honduras and Nepal, alleging that the decisions violated the APA as well as equal protection and due process under the Fifth Amendment.

The plaintiffs pointed to another recent lawsuit challenging the Administration’s decisions to terminate TPS (in that case for El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Sudan), where this District Court issued a preliminary injunction halting the terminations. The plaintiffs claimed that the same defects in the terminations at issue in that case, Ramos v. Nielsen (located here in this Clearinghouse), exist here. The case was originally assigned to Judge Jon Tigar, but was later reassigned to Judge Edward Chen after this case was related to Ramos v. Nielsen.

TPS is a form of humanitarian immigration relief that permits individuals from TPS-designated countries to lawfully live and work in the U.S. when they cannot safely return to their country of origin due to an exceptional circumstance, such as armed conflict or a natural disaster. The complaint stated that more than 100,000 individuals from Honduras and Nepal currently have TPS, most of them having lived in the U.S. for the majority of their lives. Many are also the parents of U.S.-citizen children, who would be faced with the choice of being separated from their families or leaving the only home they had ever known if their parents lost TPS. The minor plaintiffs sought to represent the following nationwide class: U.S.-citizen children, from ages five to eighteen, of all TPS holders from Honduras and Nepal.

The complaint explained that typically, when DHS was considering whether to terminate a country’s TPS designation, it would consider all of the conditions in that country, including the impact of crises or exceptional circumstances that occurred after the country’s original TPS designation. The plaintiffs then alleged that since President Trump took office, DHS, without any formal announcement, explanation, or acknowledgment of a departure from past practice, adopted a new interpretation of the TPS statute that no longer considers intervening country conditions. The plaintiffs claimed that this new interpretation and subsequent decisions to terminate TPS designations for certain countries were motivated by racial animus, highlighting President Trump’s various past statements denigrating non-white, non-European immigrants.

On March 12 the parties jointly stipulated to a stay of the proceedings in this case pending final resolution of the defendants’ appeal of the preliminary injunction in Ramos. Judge Chen granted the stipulation, finding that the “interests of justice and judicial economy would be served by treating the decisions terminating TPS for Honduras and Nepal similarly to the decisions at issue in Ramos during the pendency of the Ramos appeal.” The defendants agreed to abstain from implementing their decisions to terminate TPS for Nepal and Honduras pending the resolution of that appeal, which the Ninth Circuit will be hearing in the near future.

The case is ongoing.

Sam Kulhanek - 04/25/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Immigration/Border
Temporary protected status
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
Defendant(s) U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Plaintiff Description TPS beneficiaries from Nepal and Honduras and their U.S.-citizen children.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU of Southern California
Asian Americans Advancing Justice / AAJC
National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
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 2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Implementation of Executive Order 13768, "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
The Washington Post
Date: May 22, 2017
By: Jefferson Sessions (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Implementing the President's Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements Policies (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Re: Enforcement of the Immigration Laws to Serve the National Interest (Final, 2/20/2017)
dhs.gov
Date: Feb. 20, 2017
By: DHS Secretary John Kelly (United States Department of Homeland Security)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Executive Order 13767: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 27, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
Citation: 82 Fed. Reg. Presidential Documents 8793 (Jan. 27, 2017)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Executive Order 13768: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States
Federal Register
Date: Jan. 25, 2017
By: President Donald Trump (Office of the President)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:19-cv-731 (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0145-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/12/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0145-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/10/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation to Stay Proceedings [ECF# 22]
IM-CA-0145-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/12/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Arulanantham, Ahilan T (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
Bansal, Jessica Karp (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
Commons, Sean A. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
Degen, Alycia Ann (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
Domino, Tyler J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
Dugan, Jon (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
Guo, Ava Xiaoqing (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
Hoq, Laboni Amena (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
Kao, Winifred (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
Lapinig, Christopher M. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
Leaman, Kimberly Ann (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
MacLean, Emilou (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
McKinney, Zoe N. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
Weerasingha−Cote, Tami (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
Zhao, Jingni (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0001 | IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Kirschner, Adam D. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0145-0002 | IM-CA-0145-9000

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