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Case Name Santillan v. Mukasey IM-CA-0003
Docket / Court 3:04-cv-02686-MHP ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Immigration and/or the Border
Attorney Organization Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law
MALDEF
Case Summary
On July 6, 2004, individuals who had been granted the status of lawful permanent resident by the Department of Justice's Executive Office of Immigration Review filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the United States ... read more >
On July 6, 2004, individuals who had been granted the status of lawful permanent resident by the Department of Justice's Executive Office of Immigration Review filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the United States Attorney General, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services and its Director, and the San Francisco District Director under 5 U.S.C. § 551, 28 U.S.C. § 1361 and 28 U.S.C. § 2201. The plaintiffs alleged violations of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and the Administrative Procedures Act. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law of Texas, sought declaratory and injunctive relief. The plaintiffs sought to compel the federal government to provide them with documentation of their permanent resident status in a timely manner.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the government no longer issued temporary documentation of a status change to lawful permanent residents and delayed its processes for issuing permanent documentation to individuals granted lawful permanent resident status. Without such documentation, the plaintiffs alleged, they were denied employment, travel, educational, and public benefits privileges granted to other legal permanent residents.

On July 21, 2004, the case was reassigned from Judge James Larson to District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel.

On October 12, 2004, Judge Patel certified the class as follows: “The class consists of all persons who were or will be granted lawful permanent resident status by the EOIR, through the Immigration Courts or the Board of Immigration Appeals of the United States, and to whom USCIS has failed to issue evidence of registration as a lawful permanent resident with the exception that the class excludes the 34 named plaintiffs in Lope-Armor v. U.S. Attorney General, No. 04-CV-21685 (S.D. Fla.) and the plaintiff class in Padilla v. Ridge, No. M 03-126 S.D. Tex.).” 2004 WL 2297990.

On April 1, 2005, a new system of EOIR regulations went into effect. The new system reorganized the procedures governing security and law enforcement investigations of putative class members in several ways. Most significantly, it changed the timing of security examinations of applicants, requiring those examinations be completed before an immigrant’s application for adjustment of status could be heard by an immigration judge, rather than after a grant of adjusted status.

The defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims because the new regulations rendered the claims of any class members granted LPR status after April 1, 2005 moot or otherwise non-justiciable. For those class members deemed LPRs prior to that date, defendants claimed that their claims should be dismissed without prejudice on the basis of non-justiciability, or that the class should be decertified for lack of numerosity and commonality.

On July 1, 2005, Judge Patel denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss. She held that questions remained as to whether the plaintiffs’ problems would be solved under the new regulations. She also expressed concern that, “[w]hile the record before this court does not evince that the DHS changed its regulations to move security clearances outside the reach of the plaintiffs’ class action, the context of the case casts some doubt on defendants’ capacity to will to address the needs of the class as a whole, rather than simply target agency action for purposes of evading review.” 2005 WL 1592872.

The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment and the plaintiffs requested a permanent injunction. On July 25, 2005, District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel issued an order referring the case to Magistrate Judge Edward M. Chen for a settlement.

On August 24, 2005, Judge Patel granted the 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. 388 F.Supp.2d 1065.

After reviewing proposals of the parties, Judge Patel issued a Permanent Injunction on December 22, 2005, requiring the government to begin timely processing of the plaintiffs' status documentation. 2005 WL 3542661.

The class was divided into two subclasses based on differences in the procedures through which class members were adjudicated to be lawful permanent residents. Members of the pre-April 1, 2005 subclass were granted LPR status under regulations in force prior to April 1, 2005. Under the pre-April 1 regulations, an alien seeking LPR status was not required to undergo any background checks prior to his or her EOIR adjudication. Thus, members of the pre-April 1 subclass might have been granted LPR status without having completed the background checks now required by USCIS before issuing permanent documentation. In accordance with the Permanent Injunction, a Permanent Resident Card (I-551) should be mailed to the class member from the ICPS facility within 15 days of capture of the member’s biometrics at an ASC, or 60 days from the member’s USCIS InfoPass appointment, whichever date was later.

In contrast, members of the post-April 1 subclass were required to complete the mandatory background checks prior to being granted LPR status. In accordance with the Permanent Injunction, a Permanent Resident Card (I-551) should be produced and mailed from the DHS Integrated Card Production System (ICPS) facility within 15 days of capture of the member’s biometrics at the ASC, or 30 days from the member’s USCIS InfoPass appointment, whichever date was later.

If a class member (in either the pre- or post-April 1 subclasses) attended his initial appointment at USCIS for documentation processing on or before the effective date of this Plan, the applicable time period described in the Plan would be counted from either 15 days prior to the effective date of the Plan or the date of the initial USCIS appointment, whichever date was later. In all such cases where USCIS required the member to provide biometrics for card production, USCIS had 15 days from the effective date of this Plan or the date of the member’s ASC appointment, whichever date was later, to produce and mail a permanent I-551. For three years from the effective date of the plan, DHS was required to provide quarterly reports to class counsel listing the class members who have contacted the POC during the reporting period.

On January 30, 2006, the Court denied the plaintiffs’ request for an entry of a final judgment in the case as being unnecessary at the time as the harm that was the subject of the lawsuit was ongoing.

The government appealed the District Court's various rulings and orders. On February 7, 2008, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal without prejudice to reinstatement in the event the district court declined to approve the settlement.

On April 9, 2008, Judge Patel ordered that the case Padilla et al v. Ridge et al Padilla v. Ridge was related to Santillan et al v. Ashcroft and was re-assigned to herself.

On April 14, 2008, the parties filed a joint motion for approval of a settlement agreement. On June 16, 2008, the court granted the parties' motion to consolidate this case with Padilla v. Ridge. In addition, the Judge Patel re-certified the class as follows: “All persons who have been or will be granted lawful permanent resident status prior to termination of this Stipulation by the EOIR, through the Immigration Courts or the BIA, and to whom the USCIS has failed to issue evidence of registration as a lawful permanent resident, with the exception that the class excludes the 34 named plaintiffs in Lopez-Amor v. U.S. Attorney General, No 04-CV-21685 (S.D. Fla.).”

On July 21, 2008, Judge Patel approved a settlement agreement that covered both of the consolidated cases, vacated the injunction issued on December 22, 2005 and dismissed the cases. The obligations of the stipulation were to terminate 2 years from the effective day.

The defendants were to institute requirements for the issuance of evidence of LPR status to class members who were issued any of the following final orders by EOIR: (i) orders granting adjustment of status to permanent residence; (ii) orders granting cancellation of removal and adjustment of status of a non-permanent resident to permanent residence; (iii) orders granting suspension of deportation and adjustment of status of a non-permanent resident to permanent residence; (iv) suspension of deportation of special rule cancellation or removal; or (v) any other form of relief from removal that EOIR may grant that results in a class member being granted LPR status at the conclusion of removal proceedings (collectively, the “covered orders”). The defendants, acting through ICE, agreed to provide a written description of the post-order instructions for obtaining documentation of LPR status from USCIS at the time the class member received a covered order. The post-order instructions were to be posted on USCIS website with links to websites maintained by DHS and DOJ. USCIS were to issue Permanent Resident Cards to class members within a specified time period in the stipulation. Moreover, USCIS were to establish a national point of contact to accept inquiries from class members who did not receive status documents within a specified time period. This process was not available to a class member who in accordance with USCIS gathered information might be a risk to national security of public safety.

The Court retained no jurisdiction in this case except for sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear any class claim. The case is now closed.

Kristen Sagar - 02/25/2009
Joanna Kuzdra - 03/01/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Reporting
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Records Disclosure
Terrorism/Post 9-11 issues
Immigration/Border
Admission - criteria
Admission - procedure
Constitutional rights
Status/Classification
Work authorization - criteria
Work authorization - procedures
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361
Defendant(s) Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Attorney General's Office
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
Plaintiff Description Individuals who were granted the status of lawful permanent resident by the Department of Justice's Executive Office of Immigration Review and did not receive evidence of their status.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Lawyers Comm. for Civil Rights Under Law
MALDEF
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Confession of Judgment
Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2005 - 2010
Filing Year 2004
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing IM-FL-0021 : Amor v. U.S. Attorney General (S.D. Fla.)
IM-TX-0016 : Padilla v. Ridge (S.D. Tex.)
Docket(s)
06-15366 (U.S. Court of Appeals)
IM-CA-0003-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/23/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:04-cv-02686-MHP (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/04/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:04−cv−02686 (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0003-9002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/04/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Mandamus, Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
IM-CA-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/05/2004
Order [Re: Class Certification] (2004 WL 2297990 / 2004 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 20824) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0003-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/12/2004
Order [Re: Defendant's Motion to Dismiss] (2005 WL 1592872 / 2005 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 39727) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0003-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/01/2005
Memorandum and Order [Re: Summary Judgment] (388 F.Supp.2d 1065) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0003-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/24/2005
Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order Re:Permanent Injunction (2005 WL 3542661 / 2005 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 39118) (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0003-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/22/2005
Memorandum and Order Re: Judgment [ECF# 157] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/30/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Joint Motion to Consolidate the Santillan and Padilla Cases and to Re-certify the Class [ECF# 185] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0003-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/16/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement and Approval of Notice to Class Members of Proposed Settlement [ECF# 188] (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0003-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/19/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Final Settlement Agreement
IM-CA-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/22/2008
Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement and Release
IM-CA-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/07/2012
Judges Patel, Marilyn Hall (N.D. Cal.)
IM-CA-0003-0002 | IM-CA-0003-0005 | IM-CA-0003-0006 | IM-CA-0003-0007 | IM-CA-0003-0008 | IM-CA-0003-0009 | IM-CA-0003-0010 | IM-CA-0003-9000 | IM-CA-0003-9002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alger, Maureen P. (California)
IM-CA-0003-0001 | IM-CA-0003-0005 | IM-CA-0003-0006 | IM-CA-0003-0007 | IM-CA-0003-0008 | IM-CA-0003-9000 | IM-CA-0003-9001 | IM-CA-0003-9002
Armendariz, David Anton (Texas)
IM-CA-0003-0001 | IM-CA-0003-0005 | IM-CA-0003-0006 | IM-CA-0003-0007 | IM-CA-0003-9000 | IM-CA-0003-9002
Chen, Reuben Ho-Yen (California)
IM-CA-0003-0001 | IM-CA-0003-0005 | IM-CA-0003-0006 | IM-CA-0003-0007 | IM-CA-0003-0008 | IM-CA-0003-9000 | IM-CA-0003-9001 | IM-CA-0003-9002
Dwyer, John C (California)
IM-CA-0003-0001 | IM-CA-0003-0005 | IM-CA-0003-0006 | IM-CA-0003-0007 | IM-CA-0003-0008 | IM-CA-0003-9000 | IM-CA-0003-9001 | IM-CA-0003-9002
Maldonado, Javier N (Texas)
IM-CA-0003-0001 | IM-CA-0003-0005 | IM-CA-0003-0006 | IM-CA-0003-0007 | IM-CA-0003-0008 | IM-CA-0003-9000 | IM-CA-0003-9001 | IM-CA-0003-9002
Perales, Nina (Texas)
IM-CA-0003-0008 | IM-CA-0003-9000 | IM-CA-0003-9002
Perez, Marisol Linda (Texas)
IM-CA-0003-0008 | IM-CA-0003-9000 | IM-CA-0003-9001 | IM-CA-0003-9002
Rhyu, Michelle S (California)
IM-CA-0003-0001 | IM-CA-0003-0003 | IM-CA-0003-0004 | IM-CA-0003-0005 | IM-CA-0003-0006 | IM-CA-0003-0007 | IM-CA-0003-0008 | IM-CA-0003-9000 | IM-CA-0003-9001 | IM-CA-0003-9002
Solis, Selena N. (Texas)
IM-CA-0003-9002
Defendant's Lawyers Flynn, Steven J. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0003-9001
Kiesler, Peter D. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0003-9001
Olsen, Edward A (California)
IM-CA-0003-0005 | IM-CA-0003-0006 | IM-CA-0003-0007 | IM-CA-0003-0008 | IM-CA-0003-9000 | IM-CA-0003-9001 | IM-CA-0003-9002
Stevens, Elizabeth Jones (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0003-0005 | IM-CA-0003-0006 | IM-CA-0003-0007 | IM-CA-0003-0008 | IM-CA-0003-9000 | IM-CA-0003-9001 | IM-CA-0003-9002
Swanson, Joann M. (California)
IM-CA-0003-9001
Walters, Mark C. (District of Columbia)
IM-CA-0003-0003 | IM-CA-0003-0004 | IM-CA-0003-9001

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