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Case Name Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center v. Wolf IM-DC-0067
Docket / Court 1:19-cv-03640 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection Trump Immigration Enforcement Order Challenges
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
Case Summary
On October 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security implemented two new asylum processes to expedite applicants’ credible fear interviews: the Prompt Asylum Claim Review program and the Humanitarian Asylum Review Process. Under these programs, asylum seekers subject to credible fear ... read more >
On October 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security implemented two new asylum processes to expedite applicants’ credible fear interviews: the Prompt Asylum Claim Review program and the Humanitarian Asylum Review Process. Under these programs, asylum seekers subject to credible fear interviews would be kept in U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities, called “ice boxes” due to their cold temperatures, rather than U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers.

On December 5, 2019, the Las Americas Advocacy Center filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiff sued the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The plaintiff, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, claimed that the new programs for expedited removal violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.), the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.), the Convention against Torture, and the Due Process Clause of the Constitution. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that Customs and Border Protection facilities only allowed them to contact attorneys by phone and otherwise limited their access to legal counsel. The plaintiffs alleged that this deprived them of opportunities to meaningfully participate in credible fear interviews, which determined whether they could pursue a claim for asylum or other protection.

On the same day, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint, adding as plaintiffs asylum seekers who had been sent back to their home countries after receiving a negative evaluation for their credible fear interviews under the new programs. On December 20, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction. The case was assigned to Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on December 20, 2019. The plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on January 27, 2020.

On November 30, 2020, the district court denied the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, but granted the defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment. 507 F. Supp. 3d 1. Holding for Defendants, the court reasoned that Congress granted DHS considerable discretion to enact policies that help efficiently distinguish between merited and meritless claims; the court stated that this policy was consistent with agency's mandate.

This case is ongoing. Plaintiffs filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on December 30, 2020.

Bogyung Lim - 02/07/2020
Jordan Katz - 09/28/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Conditions of confinement
Placement in detention facilities
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Immigration/Border
Asylum - procedure
Constitutional rights
Convention against Torture
Deportation - judicial review
Deportation - procedure
Detention - conditions
Detention - procedures
Immigration lawyers
Refugees
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
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) U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Justice
Plaintiff Description Asylum seekers subject to expedited credible fear review proceedings and an advocacy organization.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 10/07/2019
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)
  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 ]

Court Docket(s)
D.D.C.
08/16/2021
1:19-cv-03640
IM-DC-0067-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D.D.C.
12/05/2019
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-DC-0067-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
12/05/2019
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 2]
IM-DC-0067-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
12/20/2019
Plaintiffs' Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 21]
IM-DC-0067-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
01/27/2020
Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 35]
IM-DC-0067-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
11/30/2020
Order [ECF# 76] (507 F.Supp.3d 1)
IM-DC-0067-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Jackson, Ketanji Brown (D.D.C., D.C. Circuit) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0067-0005 | IM-DC-0067-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Balakrishnan, Anand V. (New York) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0067-0001 | IM-DC-0067-0002 | IM-DC-0067-0003 | IM-DC-0067-0004 | IM-DC-0067-9000
Buser-Clancy, Thomas Paul (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0067-0001 | IM-DC-0067-0002 | IM-DC-0067-0003 | IM-DC-0067-0004 | IM-DC-0067-9000
Cruz, Bernardo Rafael (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0067-0001 | IM-DC-0067-0002 | IM-DC-0067-0003 | IM-DC-0067-0004
Drake, Brantley Shaw (Texas) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0067-0001 | IM-DC-0067-0002 | IM-DC-0067-0003 | IM-DC-0067-9000
Huddleston, Kathryn Lynn (Arizona) show/hide docs
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Michelman, Scott (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Segura, Andre (Texas) show/hide docs
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Spitzer, Arthur (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Defendant's Lawyers Moran, Courtney Elizabeth (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0067-9000
Reuveni, Erez (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0067-9000
Other Lawyers Benach, Ava C (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0067-9000
Manning, Susan Baker (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Walters, Karolina Joanna (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Wise, Jane W (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-DC-0067-9000

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