University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name State of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security IM-CA-0167
Docket / Court 4:20-cv-04592 ( N.D. Cal. )
Additional Docket(s) 3:20-cv-04621  [ 20-4621 ]  Northern District of CA (U.S.)
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Education
Immigration and/or the Border
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by the state of California 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 ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by the state of California 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
On July 9, three days after the directive was issued, the state of California filed this lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The complaint alleged two violations of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). First, it argued that the directive was arbitrary and capricious because: 1) the defendants gave no explanation for the sudden shift in policy; 2) defendants relied on factors Congress did not intend for then to rely on in making the shift; 3) defendants failed to consider the reliance interests of students and universities after having issued the original exemption; and 4) defendants failed to provide any cogent explanation for the shift in policy. The second alleged violation of the APA was that defendants did not go through proper notice-and-comment rule-making when issuing the new directive.

The state of California sought declaratory relief that would call the new directive illegal, an order setting aside the July directive, and injunctive relief that would force defendants to reinforce the original March 13 exemption.

California declined to have a magistrate judge conduct the proceedings. The next day, July 10, the case was assigned to Judge Jon S. Tigar.

On July 13, California submitted a notice of motion and a motion requesting a preliminary injunction. The proposed injunction would prohibit the government from acting on the new directive.

Also on July 13, Regents of the University of California filed a motion to relate the case to the case they had filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California three days prior. Judge Tigar found that the cases are related and reassigned the suit by University of California (which was filed after this suit by the state of California) to himself on July 14.

The case is ongoing as of July 14, 2020.

Jack Hibbard - 07/14/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
School/University Facilities
School/University policies
Immigration/Border
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Border police
Deportation - criteria
Deportation - procedure
Visas - criteria
Visas - procedures
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action 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 State of California
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 07/09/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-CA-0165 : The Regents of the University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0166 : Z.W. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (C.D. Cal.)
IM-MA-0020 : President and Fellows of Harvard College v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D. Mass.)
IM-DC-0081 : Johns Hopkins University v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security (D.D.C.)
IM-WA-0045 : State of Washington v. United States Department of Homeland Security (W.D. Wash.)
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)
4:20-cv-04592-JST (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0167-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/14/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
IM-CA-0167-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/09/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
The Regents of the University of California's Administrative Motion to Consider Whether Cases Should Be Related [ECF# 10, 10-1]
IM-CA-0167-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Notice of Motion and Motion for Preliminary Injunction; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof [ECF# 12, 12-1]
IM-CA-0167-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Related Case Order [ECF# 14] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0167-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/14/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Tigar, Jon Steven (State Trial Court, N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0004 | IM-CA-0167-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alcaraz, Domonique Celeste (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0001 | IM-CA-0167-0003 | IM-CA-0167-9000
Becerra, Xavier (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0001 | IM-CA-0167-0002 | IM-CA-0167-0003
Malouff, Marissa (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0001 | IM-CA-0167-0003 | IM-CA-0167-9000
Newman, Michael L. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0001 | IM-CA-0167-0003
Sherman, Lee Isaac (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0001 | IM-CA-0167-0002 | IM-CA-0167-0003 | IM-CA-0167-9000
Singh, Jasleen K (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0001 | IM-CA-0167-0003 | IM-CA-0167-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Anderson, David Lloyd (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0002
Winslow, Sara (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0002
Other Lawyers Chun, Marisa A (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0002
Jones, Molly A. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0002
Kuwahara, Emily Tomoko (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0002
Lorenzen, Thomas A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0002
Robinson, Charles Furlonge (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0002
Romano, Jennifer Salzman (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0002 | IM-CA-0167-9000
Sanchez, Sonya U. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0002
Wolff, Daniel W (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0002
Woodall, Allison M. (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0002
Wu, Margaret Louisa (California) show/hide docs
IM-CA-0167-0002

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