University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Abdullah v. INS IM-NY-0001
Docket / Court 92-CIV-8199 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On November 12, 1992, a group of around 400 Pakistani and Indian immigrants filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenging the INS' denial of their applications for Special Agricultural Workers ("SAW") status. Plaintiffs claimed that the INS denied their ... read more >
On November 12, 1992, a group of around 400 Pakistani and Indian immigrants filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, challenging the INS' denial of their applications for Special Agricultural Workers ("SAW") status. Plaintiffs claimed that the INS denied their applications for SAW status on illegal grounds: (1) because it relied on proof of employment from documents provided by "blacklisted" employers; (2) it unlawfully classified them by ethnic group (3) plaintiffs were not provided with competent interpreters; (4) plaintiffs were not permitted to cross-examine adverse witnesses; and (5) there were no transcripts of interviews conducted by INS. The Plaintiffs sought an injunction ordering the INS to re-adjudicate their applications for SAW status.

On August 24, 1993, the case was consolidated with two other cases (92-8199 and 93-3985). On January 25, 1994, the case was reassigned to Judge Allen G. Schwartz.

Defendants moved to dismiss the case, or alternatively for summary judgment. Plaintiffs responded by filing a cross-motion for summary judgment.

On April 1, 1996, the District Court (Judge Allen G. Schwartz) granted the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and ordered the INS to re-adjudicate the plaintiffs' application for SAW status, to provide plaintiffs with competent interpreters, to adjudicate each claim individually without reference to fraud based on ethnic origin, and to allow plaintiffs the opportunity to rebut adverse evidence, without raising an irrebuttable presumption based on an employer's fraud in previous cases. Defendants' motion to dismiss was denied. Abdullah v. INS, 921 F. Supp. 1080, 1099 (S.D.N.Y. 1996). The INS appealed.

On July 8, 1999, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Judge Leval) reversed and vacated the District Court's judgment. The Appeals Court remanded the case and directed the District Court to enter judgment in favor of the INS on plaintiffs' claim based on failure to provide interpreters. Plaintiffs' claims of ethnic profiling in violation of equal protection and due process were remanded for trial. Abdullah v. INS, 184 F.3d 158,167 (2nd Cir. 1999).

According to the PACER docket, on June 26, 2000, five more cases were consolidated with this case (96-8002, 97-5904, 97-5706, 98-6186, and 96-9751). On January 10, 2001, the District Court (Judge Allen G. Schwarz) entered an order discontinuing the case unless settlement was not reached within 90 days. On the same date the case was closed. On March 20, 2001, the Court entered a stipulation and order, dismissing the case with prejudice with respect to each plaintiff listed on an exhibit attached to the order. As we do not have a copy of the March 20, 2001 stipulation and order, the terms and conditions of the dismissal and the presumed settlement are unknown.

On October 17, 2003, several related cases bearing cause numbers 92cv8199, 93cv3985, 96cv8002, 96cv9751, 97cv5706, 5904, 98cv6186 previously assigned to Judge Schwartz and closed, were ordered to be reopened. On December 22, 2003 the District Court (Judge Gerald E. Lynch) entered an order of settlement and dismissal of the related cases.

Nicci Adams - 07/03/2007

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional rights
Temporary foreign workers program
Undocumented immigrants - rights and duties
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)
Defendant(s) Immigration and Naturalization Services
Plaintiff Description Over 400 Indian and Pakistani immigrants who were denied SAW status.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2003 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

1:92-cv-08199-GEL (S.D.N.Y.) 12/22/2003
IM-NY-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:93-cv-03985-GEL (S.D.N.Y.) 12/22/2003
IM-NY-0001-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
1:96-cv-08002-GEL (S.D.N.Y.) 12/22/2003
IM-NY-0001-9002.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion 03/29/1996 (921 F.Supp. 1080) (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0001-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Brief for Defendant-Appellant 04/24/1997
IM-NY-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Brief for Plaintiff-Appellee 05/23/1997
IM-NY-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Reply Brief for Defendant-Appellant 06/10/1997
IM-NY-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Opinion 07/08/1999 (184 F.3d 158)
IM-NY-0001-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 04/17/2000 (529 U.S. 1066)
IM-NY-0001-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Griesa, Thomas Poole (S.D.N.Y.)
Leval, Pierre Nelson (S.D.N.Y., Second Circuit)
Lynch, Gerard E. (S.D.N.Y., Second Circuit)
IM-NY-0001-9000 | IM-NY-0001-9001 | IM-NY-0001-9002
Miner, Roger Jeffrey (N.D.N.Y., Second Circuit)
Schwartz, Allen G. (S.D.N.Y.)
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chowes, Helen (New York)
Murtha, Robert A. Jr. (New York)
IM-NY-0001-0002 | IM-NY-0001-0004 | IM-NY-0001-0005 | IM-NY-0001-9000 | IM-NY-0001-9001
Neil, Steven C. (New York)
Weinrib, Neil A. (New York)
Defendant's Lawyers Kekatos, Diogenes P (New York)
IM-NY-0001-0001 | IM-NY-0001-0003 | IM-NY-0001-0004 | IM-NY-0001-9000
O'Brien, James A. III (New York)
IM-NY-0001-0001 | IM-NY-0001-0003 | IM-NY-0001-0004 | IM-NY-0001-0005 | IM-NY-0001-9000
Schor, Gideon A. (New York)
IM-NY-0001-0001 | IM-NY-0001-0003 | IM-NY-0001-0004
White, Mary Jo (New York)
IM-NY-0001-0001 | IM-NY-0001-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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