Plaintiffs, who were nonimmigrant aliens and organizations whose primary function was to provide immigration counseling, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging the legalization or "amnesty" provisions of Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 ("IRCA"). Specifically, plaintiffs complain that government did not take any other evidence into account, such as Social Security Administration records, Internal Revenue Service records to satisfy "unlawful status known to government". Ayuda Inc. v. Meese. 687 F. Supp. 651. (District of D.C., 1988). Plaintiffs filed a class-action lawsuit, also alleging that defendants' interpretative regulation is contrary to the plain meaning of statute, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief prohibiting narrow construction of statutory language. The case was heard in the District Court of D.C. The case was assigned to Honorable Judge Stanley Sporkin.
The Court ruled that the plaintiffs had standing to bring case to court, stating that organizational plaintiffs' interests were within zone of protected interests by statutory provision in question, as ordained by Congress. Court also reasoned that plaintiffs passed satisfied standard for injunctive relief, citing "irreparable damage that would occur" if statute was not enjoined. Thus, on March 30, 1988, the Court granted a motion for Declaratory Judgment, declaring INS regulation to be contrary to the law. The Court enjoined the INS from any further application of the law, while maintaining jurisdiction so that the decree would be fully carried out to provide further relief. Several supplemental orders were issued as well, further enjoining the Immigration and Naturalization Service from implementing the statute.
On October 28, 1988, Judge Sporkin issued Supplemental Order XII, which maintained that the Court had power to extend a statutory deadline and determine, to what extent persons may have been prejudiced or harmed by the government's application of the erroneous regulation under IRCA. The Court concluded that exceptional circumstances existed to appoint a Special Master, under Rule 53 of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, in order to determine what plaintiffs or persons may have been denied benefits from an order on March 30, 1988. Specifically, the Court ordered Irving M. Pollack to be appointed Lead Special Master.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service then appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit, seeking a writ of mandamus. The case was assigned to Honorable Judges Harold H. Greene, Abner J. Mikva, and Patricia M. Wald. The Court ruled on March 3, 1989, that (1) the case in previous posture did not clearly fail to present case or controversy, (2) the district court's continued exercise of jurisdiction did not violate judicial review provisions of IRCA, and (3) the case law preventing equitable tolling of the application deadline did not absolutely preclude any and all relief that the district court might order after receiving the special master's report, thereby giving no justification for the writ of mandamus. The Court did not find "clear and indisputable" lack of jurisdiction in the district court to explore further relief for late-filing aliens.
On April 4, 1989, the District Court of D.C. ruled that because the Government's position in underlying litigation was not "substantially justified" under the Equal Access to Justice Act, 28 U.S.C. 2412, plaintiffs were entitled to recover fees and expenses. Costs were granted in amount of $1,154.90 to the lawyers for Ayuda, Inc. and fellow plaintiffs.
Immigration and Naturalization Service again appealed to United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, challenging the injunctive and declaratory order of the District Court of D.C. The Court reasoned on June 18, 1989, that "time pressures and risks to aliens involved in IRCA do not give a district court - any more than they would give a court of appeals - the power to preempt the administrative authority of the INS and direct the legalization program from the bench". The Court also stated that the case was not ripe enough to make any ruling. 880 F.2d. 1345. (D.C. Circuit 1989). Justice Silberman dissented, arguing that neither the IRCA's judicial review provisions, nor ripeness or standing doctrine precluded the district court's exercise of federal-question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1331.
More than a year would pass before a challenge was brought against tje Immigration and Naturalization Service, challenging refusal to grant temporary work authorization to aliens who entered the country illegally but claimed eligibility for legalization or amnesty under IRCA. Specifically, aliens sought the ability to work while the Supreme Court decided on granting a writ of certiorari. On September 6, 1990, the Court held that the INS was required to issue the authorization with the understanding that it could contest determination of individual eligibility before the court. The Court ordered that INS grant a work authorization, while maintaining jurisdiction over case.
Immigration and Naturalization Service would then appeal for a motion for stay in the Circuit Court of D.C. The Court ruled that the appellants demonstrated satisfaction of standards necessary for a stay pending appeal on November 13, 1990. The case was heard before Judges Wald, Henderson, and Edwards. Judge Henderson also reasoned that stare decisis required the Circuit Court to rule in favor of a stay. Judge Wald dissented in part, and concurred in part.
On February 25, 1991, the Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari, vacating the judgment of the lower court, and remanding the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The United States Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit argued the case on May 16, 1991. On remand, the case was consolidated with other related cases on appeal from decision from a decision of United States District Court. The case was heard before Honorable Judges Douglas H. Ginsburg, Laurence H. Silberman, and Patricia M. Wald. Court held that the District Court "was without jurisdiction to issue Supplemental Order V and to order interim injunctive relief in plaintiffs' suit to extend the filing deadline" and stated that the plaintiff's appeal of the district court's motion for contempt was moot. Ayuda, Inc. v. Thornburgh, 948 F.2d. 742. (D.C. Circuit 1991). The Court also ruled that the exception to statutory review provisions recognized under recent the Supreme Court decision was limited strictly to collateral procedural challenges to legalization process, the District Court lacked jurisdiction to hear claims as to INS' interpretation of IRCA provision which were not final or ripe. Justice Wald filed a dissenting opinion, stating that the interpretation of statute was incorrect, and that the McNary case dealt with generalized challenges, not specific ones such as Ayuda, Inc.
The appellees, Ayuda, Inc., then filed for rehearing en banc. The case was heard before Honorable Judges James L. Buckley, Harry T. Edwards, Ruth B. Ginsburg, Douglas H. Ginsburg, Karen L. Henderson, Abner J. Mikva, Arthur R. Raymond, David B. Sentelle, Lauren H. Silberman, Patricia M. Wald, Stephen F. Williams. The taking of a vote then ensued, with a majority of judges denying motion for rehearing. The en banc Court then ordered that the motion be denied on March 3, 1992.
Petitioners Ayuda Inc. then appealed Supreme Court for writ of certiorari, which the Court granted. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment and remanded to United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for further consideration on June 28, 1993.
The case was then heard before Circuit Court Judges D.H. Ginsburg, Wald, and Silberman on January 27, 1993. The Court ruled that the District Court again lacked jurisdiction to issue Supplemental Order V and to order INS to grant work authorization to aliens who failed to file deadline applications before May 4, 1988. The Court also ruled that organizational plaintiffs lacked to standing to challenge the statute. Judge Wald again dissented.
On January 27, 1994, Ayuda, Inc. appealed for rehearing en banc. The case was heard before Judges Mikva, Wald, Edwards, Silberman, Buckley, Williams, Ginsburg, Sentelle, Henderson, and Randolph. The Court denied the suggestion.
Attorney General then moved for return of attorney's fees and costs awarded to immigrant rights organizations challenging Immigration and Naturalization Service. The case was heard in the District Court of D.C. by Judge Sporkin. The Court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to decide whether interim attorney's fees and costs should be returned. Case was heard on May 10, 1995.
On September 6, 1996, before Judges Silberman, Williams, and Ginsburg, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. The Circuit ordered that the motion to withdraw appeal be granted. The Court also ordered that the case be remanded to the District Court with instructions to dismiss the complaint and to vacate all remaining orders and injunctions.Stephen Imm - 08/31/2007