University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Z.W. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security IM-CA-0166
Docket / Court 8:20-cv-01220 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization Public Counsel
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by private plaintiffs regarding the July 2020 release of ICE regulations which, in effect, meant that students on F-1 visas would risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. No outcome yet.


Background
Generally ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by private plaintiffs regarding the July 2020 release of ICE regulations which, in effect, meant that students on F-1 visas would risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. No outcome yet.


Background
Generally speaking, F-1 visas (colloquially "student visas") can be granted to international students who attend American universities. However, regulations on the granting of these visas limit the amount of online or distance learning the student can engage in. According to these regulations, an international student can engage in only one such class or three credits of that class per semester. 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G).

The COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020 made this regulation untenable, as schools and universities had to shift to online learning systems. In response, defendant ICE issued an exemption on March 13, 2020, affirming that international students would be permitted to continue distance learning in the United States under their F-1 visas. The exemption would apply until the end of the emergency. However, on July 6, 2020, ICE issued a new directive stating that it would rescind that exemption. This directive would then mean that international students at schools that would still be fully online would have to either transfer to other schools that were at least partially in-person, go back to their countries voluntarily, or risk deportation. The directive also ordered schools that had gone fully online or had simply decided not to have classes to submit an "operational change plan" within nine days, and ordered schools that would have a hybrid system to certify each F-1 student to make sure that they were not taking entirely online courses.

The Lawsuit
This lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on July 10, 2020, four days after the directive was issued. Plaintiffs were seven foreign nationals attending University of California schools at the post-graduate level. They were represented by Public Counsel and private attorneys. Defendants were the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The plaintiffs claimed that the new directive violated the Administrative Procedure Act in four ways: 1) the directive was arbitrary and capricious in that it failed to consider reliance interests of F-1 and M-1 visa holders; 2) the directive was arbitrary and capricious in that it failed to offer a reasoned basis to justify the policy; 3) defendants did not engage in notice-and-comment rule-making when coming up with the new policy; and 4) the guidelines violate Due Process in that they strip plaintiffs of their visas without due process of law. Plaintiffs sought injunctive relief in the form of a temporary restraining order as well as preliminary and permanent injunctions prohibiting the agencies from enforcing the new directive. Plaintiffs also requested that the court vacate and set aside the new directive, in addition to declaratory relief and attorney's fees and costs.

The case was assigned to Judge Cormac J. Carney and Magistrate Judge Karen E. Scott.

The case is ongoing as of July 13, 2020.

Jack Hibbard - 07/13/2020


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
School/University Facilities
School/University policies
Immigration/Border
Admission - criteria
Border police
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - procedure
Visas - criteria
Visas - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) United States Department of Homeland Security
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Plaintiff Description Seven unnamed UC post-grad students
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Public Counsel
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
Filed 07/10/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-WA-0045 : State of Washington v. United States Department of Homeland Security (W.D. Wash.)
IM-MA-0020 : President and Fellows of Harvard College v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D. Mass.)
IM-CA-0165 : The Regents of the University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Cal.)
IM-DC-0081 : Johns Hopkins University v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D.D.C.)
IM-CA-0167 : State of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Cal.)
IM-MA-0021 : Commonwealth of Massachusetts et al v. United States Department of Homeland Security (D. Mass.)
IM-OR-0011 : University of Oregon v. United States Department of Homeland Security (D. Or.)
Docket(s)
8:20-cv-01220-CJC-KES (C.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0166-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0166-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/10/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Carney, Cormac J. (C.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0166-9000
Scott, Karen E Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
IM-CA-0166-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Caminker, Evan H. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0166-0001
Carpenter, David R (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0166-0001 | IM-CA-0166-9000
Gilford, Lisa (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0166-0001 | IM-CA-0166-9000
Haddad, Mark E. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0166-0001 | IM-CA-0166-9000
Horth-Neubert, Stacy R. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0166-0001 | IM-CA-0166-9000
Rosenbaum, Mark Dale (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0166-0001 | IM-CA-0166-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -