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Case Name East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Barr IM-CA-0146
Docket / Court 4:19-cv-04073 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU of Northern California
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On July 16, 2019, the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Al Otro Lado, Innovation Law Lab, and the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles challenged a new asylum policy of the federal government narrowing eligibility qualifications for asylum seekers. Specifically, the plaintiffs challenged an ... read more >
On July 16, 2019, the East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Al Otro Lado, Innovation Law Lab, and the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles challenged a new asylum policy of the federal government narrowing eligibility qualifications for asylum seekers. Specifically, the plaintiffs challenged an interim final rule, promulgated by the Attorney General and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, that made ineligible for asylum noncitizens who transit through another country prior to reaching the southern border of the United States. The plaintiffs sued the Attorney General and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq., and the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief. This lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California and assigned to Jon S. Tigar.

The complaint argued that Congress made clear that noncitizens may apply for asylum regardless of where they enter the U.S., and that many necessarily transit through another country before reaching a U.S. port of entry. U.S.C. § 1158(a)(1). The complaint emphasized the distinction between firm resettlement barring eligibility for asylum under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(2)(A), and temporary transit through another country. The plaintiffs argued that the Rule jeopardizes the right of those fleeing dangerous conditions to non-refoulement, which prohibits the forced return of asylum seekers to a country where they are or could be subject to persecution. The plaintiffs further argued that the government failed to follow procedural steps required by the APA, which include providing notice and an opportunity to comment prior to the promulgation of the Rule.

On July 24, 2019, the court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction, preventing the government from taking any further action to implement the Rule. 385 F.Supp.3d 922. The government requested a stay of the injunction pending an appeal to the Ninth Circuit, arguing that the nationwide scope of the injunction was unwarranted and would serve to undermine the constitutional and statutory authority of the Executive Branch.

On August 16, 2019, the Ninth Circuit denied a stay for application of the injunction inside its boundaries, but granted the stay (pending appeal) for all locations outside the 9th Circuit, finding that the nationwide scope of the injunction was not supported by the record in the district court. 934 F.3d 1026. The plaintiffs then moved in the district court to restore the nationwide scope of the injunction, supplementing the record the appeals court had found inadequate.

On September 9, 2019, Judge Jon S. Tigar granted the plaintiffs’ motion to restore the nationwide scope of the injunction, viewing it as the only sufficient remedy to provide complete relief to the plaintiffs, as well as necessary to maintain uniform immigration policy. 391 F.Supp.3d 974. The government again appealed to the Ninth Circuit, and filed an emergency motion for a stay. While the stay issue was being briefed, the U.S. Supreme Court granted a stay pending disposition of the government's appeal to the Ninth Circuit. 140 S.Ct. 3.

The appeal is still pending in the Ninth Circuit; oral argument was heard in December 2019. The case is ongoing.

Hafsa Tout - 10/05/2019
Sam Kulhanek - 02/26/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
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.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.
Defendant(s) Acting Secretary of Homeland Security
Attorney General
Plaintiff Description Four nonprofit legal service organizations working with asylum seekers.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
ACLU of Northern California
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
Southern Poverty Law Center
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 Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Filed 07/16/2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-CA-0137 : East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump (N.D. Cal.)
IM-DC-0063 : Capital Area Immigrants' Rights (CAIR) Coalition v. Trump; I.A. v. Barr (D.D.C.)
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
4:19-cv-4073 (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0146-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/19/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0146-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/16/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 42] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0146-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/24/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion to Restore Nationwide Scope of Injunction [ECF# 73] (2019 WL 4265078) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0146-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/09/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion (140 S.Ct. 3)
IM-CA-0146-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/11/2019
Source: Westlaw
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Judges Kagan, Elena (SCOTUS) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0004
Tigar, Jon Steven (State Trial Court, N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0002 | IM-CA-0146-0003 | IM-CA-0146-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Amdur, Spencer E. W. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001 | IM-CA-0146-9000
Azmy, Baher (New York) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001
Balakrishnan, Anand V. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001 | IM-CA-0146-9000
Bauer, Mary C. (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001 | IM-CA-0146-9000
Crow, Melissa E. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001 | IM-CA-0146-9000
Eiland, Katrina L. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001 | IM-CA-0146-9000
Gelernt, Lee (New York) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001 | IM-CA-0146-9000
Guisado, Angelo R. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001
Jadwat, Omar C. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001 | IM-CA-0146-9000
Salceda, Angelica H. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001 | IM-CA-0146-9000
Schwarz, Ghita (New York) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001
Sun, Christine Patricia (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001 | IM-CA-0146-9000
Talla, Vasudha (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001 | IM-CA-0146-9000
Veroff, Julie Michelle (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001 | IM-CA-0146-9000
Wofsy, Cody H. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-0001 | IM-CA-0146-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Genova, Francesca (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-9000
Kisor, Colin A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-9000
Reuveni, Erez (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-9000
Stewart, Scott Grant (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-9000
Other Lawyers Bookey, Blaine (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-9000
Murch, Marienna Harnden (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0146-9000

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