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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Kiakombua v. McAleenan IM-DC-0062
Docket / Court 1:19-cv-01872 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Civil Rights Challenges to Trump Immigration Enforcement Orders
Attorney Organization International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)
Case Summary
On June 25, 2019, five asylum seekers from Angola, Cuba, and El Salvador filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General of the U.S. under the Refugee Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a); ... read more >
On June 25, 2019, five asylum seekers from Angola, Cuba, and El Salvador filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs sued the Department of Homeland Security and the Attorney General of the U.S. under the Refugee Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a); Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1231(b)(3); Article 3 of the Convention Against Torture, 8 C.F.R. § 208.16(c), (d); and the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706(2). The plaintiffs, represented by the International Refugee Assistance Program and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, sought declarative, injunctive, and monetary relief, claiming violations of the credible fear process and the Fifth Amendment. The plaintiffs alleged that the Trump Administration issued a set of instructions (the "Lesson Plan") on April 30, 2019, to asylum officers that were designed to turn back as many asylum seekers as possible. The Lesson Plan allegedly made it far more difficult for asylum seekers to pass their “credible fear interviews.” If an asylum seeker is found to lack “credible fear,” they may be unable to apply for asylum. Specifically, the plaintiffs were found to lack “credible fear” and were denied the opportunity to apply for protection, and thus, were deported or were at imminent risk of being deported.

On August 19, 2019, the defendants moved for summary judgment. The defendants argued that the plaintiffs’ case should be dismissed because it was not a legal issue over which the court could exercise its judicial authority because there was no evidence that enjoining the Lesson Plan would remedy plaintiffs' injuries and because the Lesson Plan was not subject to judicial review under the APA. Furthermore, the defendants contended that the Lesson Plan had no real impact on the credible fear process and that it was just a minor update to account for developments in the case law.

On September 5, 2019, the plaintiffs cross-moved for summary judgment. The plaintiffs contended that they were entitled to summary judgment on the merits because the Lesson Plan was inconsistent with the statutory and regulatory scheme of the credible fear process and was in violation of the APA. With regards to the defendants’ contention that the Lesson Plan had no real impact, the plaintiffs rebutted that the record showed a significant change to policy.

As of October 2, 2019, the motions are pending before Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Aaron Gurley - 10/03/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Immigration/Border
Asylum - criteria
Asylum - procedure
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) Attorney General of the United States
Refugee, Asylum and International Operations
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
United States Citizen and Immigration Services
Plaintiff Description Asylum seekers from Angola, El Salvador, and Cuba.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP)
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 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)
1:19-cv-01872 (D.D.C.)
IM-DC-0062-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/09/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-DC-0062-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/25/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 6]
IM-DC-0062-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/28/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Jackson, Ketanji Brown (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0062-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alagesan, Deepa (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0062-0001 | IM-DC-0062-0002 | IM-DC-0062-9000
Austin, Kathryn (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0062-0001 | IM-DC-0062-0002 | IM-DC-0062-9000
Cox, Justin Bryan (Georgia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0062-0001 | IM-DC-0062-0002 | IM-DC-0062-9000
Govindaiah, Manoj (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0062-0001 | IM-DC-0062-0002 | IM-DC-0062-9000
Hirose, Mariko (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0062-0001 | IM-DC-0062-0002 | IM-DC-0062-9000
Osornio, Maria (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0062-0001 | IM-DC-0062-0002 | IM-DC-0062-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cirino, Paul (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0062-9000
Platt, Steven (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0062-9000
Other Lawyers Hethmon, Michael M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0062-9000
Lacovara, Michael (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0062-9000
Thompson, Paul Michael (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0062-9000
Tucci, Michael Edward (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0062-9000

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