On July 6, 2004, plaintiffs who had been granted the status of lawful permanent resident by the Justice Department's Executive Office of Immigration Review filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to compel the federal government to provide them with documentation of their permanent resident status in a timely manner. Plaintiffs alleged that after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the government no longer issued temporary documentation of a status change to lawful permanent resident and delayed its processes for issuing permanent documentation to individuals granted lawful permanent resident status. Without such documentation, plaintiffs alleged, they were denied employment, travel, educational, and public benefits privileges granted to other legal permanent residents. Plaintiffs asserted claims for violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq.; the Mandamus Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1361 and the Declaratory Judgment Act 28 U.S.C. § 2201. Attorneys with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law of Texas, and private law firms represented the plaintiffs.
Several months after suit was filed, the District Court (Marilyn Hall Patel) certified the case as a class action. Santillan v. Ashcroft, 2004 WL 2297990 (N.D.Cal. Oct.12, 2004).
On April 1, 2005, the federal government implemented a new system of immigration regulations that changed the procedures governing security and law enforcement investigations. As those regulations affected the class members, the defendants moved to dismiss the claims of any class members who were granted legal permanent resident status after April 1, 2005 as being moot. That motion was denied. Santillan v. Gonzales, 2005 WL 1592872 (N.D.Cal. July 1, 2005)
The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment and plaintiffs requested a permanent injunction. The District Court (Judge Patel) granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and request for a permanent injunction. The Court ordered the parties to submit proposals as to the appropriate scope of the injunction. Santillan v. Gonzales, 388 F.Supp.2d 1065 (N.D.Cal.2005)
After reviewing proposals of the parties, the District Court issued a Permanent Injunction on December 22, 2005, requiring the government to begin timely processing of plaintiffs' status documentation. Plaintiffs sought entry of a final judgment in the case, but the Court denied the request as being unnecessary at the time.
The government appealed the District Court's various rulings and orders. On February 7, 2008, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal with prejudice.
On April 14, 2008, the parties filed a joint motion for approval of a settlement agreement. On June 17, 2008, the court granted the parties' motion to consolidate this case with Padilla v. Ridge, IM-TX-0016.
On July 22, 2008, the District Court approved a settlement agreement that covered both of the consolidated cases and dismissed the cases.Kristen Sagar - 02/25/2009