University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Dora v. Sessions IM-DC-0065
Docket / Court 1:18-cv-01938 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Trump Immigration Enforcement Order Challenges
Attorney Organization Muslim Advocates
Case Summary
On August 17, 2018, 29 parents who were forcibly separated from their children by the federal government filed this lawsuit in U.S. District Court of District Columbia. The plaintiffs sued the Department of Justice for violating the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.) ... read more >
On August 17, 2018, 29 parents who were forcibly separated from their children by the federal government filed this lawsuit in U.S. District Court of District Columbia. The plaintiffs sued the Department of Justice for violating the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.), the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 701), the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.), and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The Plaintiffs, represented by Muslim Advocates as well as the Legal Aid Justice Center and the law firm of Eversheds & Sunderland, LLP, sought an order compelling the defendants to vacate the results of credible fear interviews, which had found them eligible for removal, as well as the resulting orders of removal. The plaintiffs sought declaratory relief and new credible fear interviews.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that under DOJ policy, parents were forced to undergo credible fear interviews while they were suffering from emotional and psychological trauma from being separated from their children. Credible fear interviews determine whether an asylum seeker faces a credible fear of persecution or torture when returned to their home country. Unable to articulate their experiences due to trauma, the plaintiffs received negative credible fear determinations and faced immediate deportation.

This case was assigned to Judge Paul L. Friedman.

On August 17, 2018, the plaintiffs filed a motion to proceed under pseudonyms and a redacted complaint. The defendant filed a motion to extend time to file an answer on October 22, 2018. On December 31, 2018, the defendant again filed such a motion.

Along with two related cases, MMM v. Sessions and Ms. L v. ICE, this case settled. On November 15, 2018, Judge Dana M. Sabraw (the judge assigned in Ms. L. v. ICE) issued a final approval of the settlement. According to this settlement, the government committed to conducting a good faith review of the plaintiff’s prior credible fear findings to determine if reconsideration would be appropriate. However, the government refused to return any parent who had already been deported.

On February 5, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a notice of voluntary dismissal. This case is now closed, but the court in Ms. L v. ICE retained jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement. For more information on that case, including disputes that have developed over the settlement's terms, see here.

Bogyung Lim - 02/05/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Disability
Integrated setting
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Family reunification
Parents (visitation, involvement)
Reasonable Accommodations
Youth / Adult separation
Immigration/Border
Asylum - criteria
Asylum - procedure
Constitutional rights
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - judicial review
Deportation - procedure
Family Separation
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
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.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description 29 parents who underwent credible fear interviews after being separated from their children.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Muslim Advocates
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Voluntary Dismissal
Filed 08/17/2018
Case Closing Year 2019
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing IM-CA-0121 : Ms. L. v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (S.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0130 : M.M.M. v. Sessions (S.D. Cal.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  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 ]

Court Docket(s)
D.D.C.
02/05/2019
1:18-cv-1938
IM-DC-0065-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D.D.C.
08/17/2018
Complaint [ECF# 3]
IM-DC-0065-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
09/12/2018
Plan to Address the Asylum Claims of Class-Member Parents and Children who are Physically Present in the United States [ECF# 220-1]
IM-DC-0065-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
S.D. Cal.
11/15/2018
Order Certifying the Settlement Classes and Granting Final Approval of Class Action Settlement [ECF# 321]
IM-DC-0065-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Friedman, Paul L. (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-9000
Sabraw, Dana Makoto (S.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0003
Plaintiff's Lawyers Aguirre, Samir A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0001
Amdur, Spencer E. W. (California) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002
Balakrishnan, Anand V. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002
Barmeyer, Wilson G. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0001 | IM-DC-0065-9000
Flatt, Margaret (Georgia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0001
Fleming, John Howard (Georgia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0001
Ford, Kara (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0001
Gelernt, Lee (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002
Gregg, Sophia Leticia (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0001
Kang, Stephen B. (California) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002
McClarnon, Carol T. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0001
Rabinovitz, Judy (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002
Sandoval-Moshenberg, Simon (Virginia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0001
Shebaya, Sirine (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0001 | IM-DC-0065-9000
Smith, Johnathan James (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0001 | IM-DC-0065-9000
Vakili, Bardis (California) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Bettwy, Samuel William (California) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002
Braverman, Adam (California) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002
Fabian, Sarah B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002
Hunt, Joseph H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002
Murley, Nicole N. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002
Peachey, William Charles (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002
Robins, Jeffrey S (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-9000
Silvis, William C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002
Stewart, Scott Grant (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0065-0002

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -