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Top of the Ninth: Injunctions and 18.5

Top of the Ninth: Injunctions and 18.5

It’s been such an interesting week to be practicing immigration law in California. The Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haiti, Sudan, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. The Ninth Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction requiring a prompt hearing before a neutral decisionmaker for unaccompanied minors who were re-arrested for being suspected gang members. And, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) said it would not recognize a California law that retroactively lowered the maximum possible sentence for a state offense from 365 days to 364 days. As I said, it’s been an interesting week.

Ninth Circuit

The Ninth Circuit Found that the District Court Did Not Abuse its Discretion in Finding that UACs Who are Re-arrested and Detained Must be Granted a Prompt Hearing in Front of a Neutral Decisionmaker Where They Can Contest the Basis for Their Re-Arrest

The Ninth Circuit upheld a District Court injunction requiring hearings in front of a neutral decisionmaker (their language not mine) for unaccompanied minors who were released to a parent or sponsor by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and then were re-arrested because of alleged gang membership and transferred to a secure juvenile facility. In a really interesting decision that dissects the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA) and goes into the Flores settlement. In short, the Ninth Circuit held that juveniles who have been released from ORR custody who are then re-arrested on gang allegations are entitled to a hearing regarding their proper placement - be it with their parents/guardians, in a secured juvenile facility, or some other place - before a neutral decision-maker.

First the Ninth Circuit gives us the legal framework of TVPRA, which I for one, truly appreciated. The TVPRA requires DHS to transfer an unaccompanied minor to the custody of Health and Human Services (HHS), more specifically the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within 72 hours of determining that the minor is unaccompanied, absent “exceptional circumstances.” ORR then must ensure that the child (I’m changing the language from a “minor” to the less clinical term “child” because that is what we are talking about here – children) is promptly placed in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interests of the child. ORR is to look at danger to self, danger to the community, and risk of flight in making these placements. Here’s the important part, “[a] child shall not be placed in a secure facility absent a determination that the child poses a danger to self or others or has been charged with having committed a criminal offense.” 8 U.S.C. § 1232(c)(2)(A) (there is no parallel cite in the INA). The Ninth Circuit then explains that under the Flores settlement, a child in an ORR facility has the right to a bond hearing before an immigration judge to challenge the initial determination that a child is a danger to the community. Flores v. Sessions, 862 F.3d 863, 879 (9th Cir. 2017); ORR Guide § 2.9; Flores Settlement ¶ 24A.

With this background, let’s get to the facts in this case. In 2017, ICE and New York law enforcement started “Operation Matador” (I’ll let the casual racism stand). The operation targeted undocumented child immigrants who had alleged ties to criminal gangs. Now you might wonder how a case with a joint operation between ICE and New York State ended up in the Ninth Circuit. It’s a very good question; and the answer might, just might, infuriate you. After local law enforcement in New York gave ICE information relating to allegations of gang affiliations for immigrant children, ICE agents arrested the alleged gang members and charged them with removability. One of the children who was arrested was A. H. A.H.’s mother is Ilsa Saravia, the named plaintiff in the case. In 2015, when A.H. was about fifteen years old he entered the United States without inspection from Honduras. He was placed in an ORR facility. ORR released him into his mother’s custody after they determined that he was not a flight risk and did not pose a danger to himself or his community. In 2016, the State of New York charged A. H. with menacing and possession of a weapon in juvenile court. The state adjourned the proceeding after A. H. completed a community service program. In March 2017, A. H. was charged in state court with possession of marijuana. He was arrested with a friend. The friend admitted to previous gang affiliation; but A. H. did not. The state adjourned this case too in contemplation of dismissal. In June 2017, ICE officers arrested A. H. in New York, charged him with being in a gang, flew him to California, and detained him at the Yolo County Juvenile Facility. I’m furious just writing this! Removing a child from his home in New York and flying him clear across the country! But, after the attorneys filed this law suit, A. H. was transferred to a lower-security facility back in New York. Well, at least jurisdiction vested in the Ninth Circuit – it could have been worse – it could have been Texas.

In June 2017, A. H. filed a writ of habeas corpus (still a bargain at $5.00!) in the Northern District of California. In August 2017, A. H. filed a putative class action complaint. The complaint alleged that the U.S. government violated the plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment rights to procedural due process. The District Court provisionally certified the class and granted a preliminary injunction ordering a prompt hearing before a neutral decision-maker in which the government must show that changed circumstances justified the children’s continued detention. The injunction provided that the child and the sponsor must receive notice of the basis for the re-arrest and the hearing must occur within seven days of the arrest, absent extraordinary circumstances, in the jurisdiction where the child has been arrested or where the child lives. The government appealed.

Filing an injunction sounds scary, but the analysis is really quite simple. The plaintiff must establish the following: 1) s/he is likely to succeed on the merits; 2) s/he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief; 3) the balance of equities tips in his/her favor; and, 4) an injunction is in the public interest. Winter v. Nat. Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008). That’s it! It’s easy! In this case, the Ninth only considered the first prong: could A. H. establish that he was likely to succeed on the merits? The government conceded the other factors. The District Court found that the children were likely to succeed on the merits and could likely show that they were entitled to a hearing to challenge the allegations of gang involvement.

The Ninth in this case further narrowed the issues to the following: 1) Did the District Court abuse its discretion in entering the preliminary injunction because the relief ordered conflicts with the TVPRA and with the Flores settlement? And, 2) did the District Court abuse its discretion in entering the preliminary injunction where the existing procedures provide the children with an adequate opportunity to challenge the revocation of their placements by ORR?

First the Ninth Circuit noted that the TVPRA mandates that ORR place unaccompanied children in the “least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child.” 8 U.S.C. § 1232(c)(2)(A). The Ninth found that the preliminary injunction was consistent with that mandate. The District Court noted, “[if] DHS could, the day after a minor was released to a parent or other sponsor, arrest the minor…and restart the process, the TVPRA’s instructions to place the minor in the least restrictive appropriate setting would mean little.” Saravia v. Sessions, 280 F. Supp. 3d 1161, 1196 (N.D. Cal. 2017); cited with approval, Saravia v. Sessions, No. 18-15115, slip op. at *13 (9th Cir. Oct. 1, 2018). The preliminary injunction orders the child’s release to the previous custodian if a neutral adjudicator determines after a hearing that the child poses no danger to himself or to the community and is not a flight risk. The Ninth Circuit notes that by releasing the children to their previous sponsors the government has already determined that each of these sponsors is a suitable placement. Nothing in the TVPRA requires the government to conduct a second review.

The government then argued that the preliminary injunction’s requirement to hold the hearing in the jurisdiction in which the child had been arrested or where the child lives imposed an undue burden on the government because the government only maintains juvenile immigration detention facilities in limited locations. (That’s infuriating!) But, the Ninth Circuit disposed of this argument noting that the cost of transporting the child to the hearing location was not likely to outweigh the benefits provided by this order given that the witnesses and evidence concerning gang allegations are most likely to be found where the children lived. Common sense prevails.

Next the Ninth Circuit looked at the adequacy of the existing procedures and found that the District Court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that the existing procedures appeared to be inadequate to protect children against the risk of being wrongly taken away from their sponsors. The Ninth noted that the Flores settlement provides children in ORR custody with the right to a bond hearing before an immigration judge to challenge the determination that the child is a danger to himself or the community. But these hearings were designed to consider ORR’s initial determination that the child should be detained in a secure facility. Even if the child is ordered released, the government must still identify a safe and secure placement into which the child can be released. This process requires verification of the custodian’s identity and relationship to the child, as well as an independent finding that the custodian has not engaged in any activity that would indicate a potential risk to the child. 8 U.S.C. § 1232(c)(3)(A). This process can take months to complete. The Ninth noted that the District Court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that Flores hearing were not sufficient to protect the TVPRA rights of the members of the plaintiff class, each of whom had initially been found to qualify for placement with a parent or spouse previously approved by ORR. The Ninth noted that due process requires the opportunity to be heard at a meaningful time. Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 333 (1976). The District Court found, based on the evidence presented at the hearing, that the children would remain in ORR custody indefinitely absent a preliminary injunction.

The Ninth Circuit concluded that based on the record, the District Court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that the children were entitled to some sort of due process and that it properly provided members of the class with procedural protections. Congratulations to the ACLU; Cooley, LLP; and, the indefatigable Holly Cooper. You can click on the link below to read the complete case.

Saravia v. Sessions, No. 18-15114 (9th Cir. Oct. 1, 2018).

Board of Immigration Appeals

Cal. Penal Code § 18.5 Which Retroactively Lowered the Maximum Possible Sentence for a Misdemeanor from 365 Days to 364 Days Does Not Affect the Applicability of INA § 237(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude for which a Sentence of One-Year or Longer may be Imposed in Immigration Proceedings

On of the very nice things about living in California (besides the natural beauty, perfect weather, and fantastic culture) is that over the past several years that state government has worked hard to protect immigrants. I know that Mike Mehr, along with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), (namely Kathy Brady and Rose Cahn) have spent a great deal of time lobbying the California state government to pass laws to protect immigrants. (I am certain that there are a lot of other fantastic attorneys who have been working on this project too whom I am not naming, and I truly apologize for inadvertently omitting them). One of the laws that California passed, was California Penal Code § 18.5. The statute provides:

  1. Every offense which is prescribed by any law of the state to be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail up to or not exceeding one year shall be punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period not to exceed 364 days. This section shall apply retroactively, whether or not the case was final as of January 1, 2015.
  2. A person who was sentenced to a term of one year in county jail prior to January 1, 2015, may submit an application before the trial court that entered the judgment of conviction in the case to have the term of the sentence modified to the maximum term specified in subdivision (a).

(Emphasis added). I added the emphasis because that statutory provision is going to provide the basis for appealing this decision.

The State of California very carefully crafted this law to eliminate immigration consequences for noncitizens who were convicted of a misdemeanor crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). A noncitizen is deportable for having been convicted of a CIMT for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed where the crime is committed within five years of admission. INA § 237(a)(2)(A)(i). A noncitizen is also statutorily ineligible for cancellation of removal for non-lawful permanent residents if s/he has been convicted of a CIMT where a sentence of a year or longer may be imposed. California changed the potential sentence for misdemeanors from 365 days to 364 days and very carefully and deliberately wrote that this law applied retroactively whether or not the case was final as of January 1, 2015. Remember this language – it’s important.

Eduardo Velasquez-Rios is a native and citizen of Mexico. He entered the United States without inspection. On July 22, 2003, he was convicted of possession of a forged instrument in violation of Cal. Penal Code § 475(a). The California courts sentenced him to twelve days in jail; but the maximum possible sentence for this crime back in 2003 was 365 days imprisonment. Mr. Velasquez-Rios was placed in removal proceedings and applied for cancellation of removal for non-lawful permanent residents under INA § 240A(b). The Immigration Judge (IJ) found that he was statutorily ineligible for non-lawful permanent resident cancellation of removal under INA § 237(a)(2) because he had been convicted of a CIMT where a sentence of one-year or longer may be imposed. Everyone agreed that he was not statutorily ineligible for relief under INA § 212(a)(2) because the crime fell under the petty offense exception. On December 11, 2014, the IJ ordered Mr. Velasquez-Rios removed. Mr. Velasquez-Rios appealed. He argued that he had not been convicted of a crime under section 237(a)(2) because Cal. Penal Code § 18.5 reduced the potential sentence for misdemeanors from 365 days to 364 days. On April 25, 2016, the BIA dismissed his appeal. The BIA noted that Cal. Penal Code § 18.5 did not become effective until after Mr. Velasquez-Rios had been convicted of the crime and that nothing in the statute had retroactive effect. The case went up to the Ninth Circuit and while the case was pending in the Ninth, the California legislature amended section 18.5 to have retroactive effect whether or not the case was final before January 1, 2015. The Ninth remanded the case to the BIA to consider whether Mr. Velasquez-Rios was statutorily eligible for cancellation of removal under the new law.

Now for some background. In order to qualify for cancellation of removal for non-lawful permanent residents, a noncitizen in addition to establishing ten years physical presence, good moral character, and exceptional and extremely unusual hardship to U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parents, spouse, or children, must establish that s/he has not been convicted of an offense under INA §§ 212(a)(2), 237(a)(2), or 237(a)(3). In this case, Mr. Velasquez-Rios was convicted of Cal. Penal Code § 475(a) (possession of a forged instrument). The BIA held that the crime was categorically a crime involving moral turpitude. The remaining question was whether in light of Cal. Penal Code § 18.5 was Mr. Velasquez-Rios convicted of a CIMT for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed? The BIA held that it was.

The BIA held, “[a]lthough we recognize that section 18.5 may have retroactively modified the maximum possible sentence for the respondent’s forgery offense for purposes of State law, it does not affect the immigration consequences of his conviction under section 237(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) of the Act, a Federal law.” Matter of Velasquez-Rios, 27 I.&N. Dec. 470, 472 (BIA 2018) (emphasis in the original). The Board held that the proper inquiry was whether the noncitizen had been convicted of a CIMT where the maximum possible sentence to a term of imprisonment of one-year or longer at the time of the conviction. Th BIA held that the amendment to section 18.5 does not affect the applicability of section 237(a)(2)(A)(i)(II) for a past conviction for a CIMT for which a sentence of one year or longer may be imposed.

The BIA in support of its decision cited to a Ninth Circuit sentence enhancement case and to a Supreme Court sentence enhancement case. But, those two cases interpreted statutes that were not specifically retroactive. First, in United States v. Diaz, 838 F.3d 968 (9th Cir. 2016) (a case worth looking at simply for the defendant’s awesome aliases, including “Frog,” “Thumper,” “Black,” and “Lil Black”) the Ninth Circuit held that California Proposition 47 which allowed California courts to reclassify California felonies as misdemeanors did not make a difference in federal sentencing enhancement statutes which require the federal government enhance a sentence if the defendant has been convicted of two prior felonies. However, Proposition 47 was not clearly retroactive. In Diaz the Ninth Circuit held that “a state making a change to a state conviction, after it has become final, “does not alter the historical fact of the [prior state] conviction” becoming final….” Diaz, 838 F.3d at 974. Of importance, the Ninth Circuit noted that it was not clear that California would apply Proposition 47 retroactively in a sentence enhancement case. And, they cited to a California Supreme Court case that states that the reclassification of a felony to a misdemeanor does not necessarily mean that the crime will be treated as a misdemeanor retroactively for the purposes of other statutory schemes. Diaz, 838 F.3d at 974.

The U.S. Supreme Court similarly found that the maximum sentence for a state offense, at the time of conviction, is what the federal courts need to look at for a sentencing enhancement under the Armed Career Criminals Act (ACCA). The Supreme Court held, “[i]t cannot be correct that subsequent changes in state law can erase an earlier conviction for ACCA purposes.” McNeill v. United States, 563 U.S. 816, 823 (2011). But, here’s the saving grace for section 18.5 and immigration cases:

As the Government notes, this case does not concern a situation in which a State subsequently lowers the maximum applicable to an offense and makes that reduction available to defendants previously convicted and sentenced for that offense.*.*.*. We do not address whether or under what circumstances a federal could consider the effect of that state action.

McNeill, 563 U.S. at 825 n. 1. (The answers are always in the footnotes).

Back to the BIA decision. The BIA found that the decisions in Diaz and McNeill apply with equal force to this case. The BIA in a footnote noted that in McNeill the Supreme Court did not address what happens when the state legislature makes changes the statute and makes that change retroactive. (Again, the answers are always in the footnotes). But, the BIA found that the immigration courts must look to the potential sentence that the noncitizen could have received at the time of conviction. The BIA dismissed the appeal. I think we can appeal this holding and argue that Cal. Penal Code 18.5 is different, because it is specifically retroactive. It applies to decision that were final as of January 1, 2015, and retroactively changes the potential sentence. I would argue that Mr. Velasquez-Rios is statutorily eligible for cancellation of removal because he had not been convicted of a CIMT with a potential sentence of one year or more. His potential sentence was only 364 days. To read the decision in its entirety, please click on the link below.

Matter of Velasquez-Rios, 27 I.&N. Dec. 470 (BIA 2018).

U.S. District Court Northern District of California

The Federal Government is Enjoined from Terminating Temporary Protected Status for Sudan, Haiti, El Salvador, and Nicaragua and Beneficiaries Retain Lawful Status and Valid Employment Authorization Documents During the Pendency of the Proceedings

In a blistering decision, that cites to Trump’s greatest hits; the District Court for the Northern District of California issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the termination of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for citizens of Sudan, Haiti, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. The decision is well worth the 43-page read, as it is quite informative and quite amusing. But, don’t worry if you can’t read it, I’ll quote some of the best parts.

First the District Court looked at the purpose of a preliminary injunction; which is to preserve the status quo and the rights of the parties until the final judgment issues. It’s “a device for preserving the status quo and preventing the irreparable loss of rights before judgment.” Sierra On-Line, Inc. v. Phx. Software, Inc. 739 F.2d 1415, 1422 (9th Cir. 1984). The party seeking a preliminary injunction must meet one of two variants of the same standard. Under the original Winters standard, (discussed in the Saravia decision above) the plaintiff must show the following: 1) s/he is likely to succeed on the merits; 2) s/he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, 3) that the balance of equities tips in his favor and, 4) an injunction is in the public interest. Winter v. NRDC, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008). Under the “sliding scale” variant of the Winter standard (in the Ninth Circuit) the plaintiff must show that there are serious questions going to the merits. It’s a lesser showing than likelihood of success on the merits. If the plaintiff makes this showing, then the court may issue a preliminary injunction if the balance of hardships tips sharply in the plaintiff’s favor and the other Winter factors are met. All. for Wild Rockies v. Pena, 865 F.3d 1211, 1217 (9th Cir. 2017).

First, the District Court found that the plaintiffs established a compelling a case showing that without a preliminary injunction the TPS beneficiaries were likely to suffer irreparable injury. The District Court talked of the harm to these families who have established strong ties to the United States and face uncertainty and danger in their home countries. In an interesting twist, the District Court also considered the harm to the United States should this population of 300,000 TPS holders suddenly lose their status. The State Amici estimated that the loss of legal status is projected to cost the U.S. government $132.6 billion in lost GDP, $5.2 billion in lost Social Security and Medicare contributions, and $733 million in employers’ turnover costs. Many TPS beneficiaries are homeowners and if they are not allowed to work they may not be able to pay their property taxes and their homes may become subject to foreclosure. Moreover, returning TPS beneficiaries to their home countries would put a strain on the countries’ systems and might possibly spur further irregular migration to the United States. The District Court found that without a preliminary injunction, there is a strong likelihood that the Plaintiffs would suffer irreparable injury with concomitant harm to state and local communities as well. The District Court found that any harm to the federal government if the Court issued a preliminary injunction was strongly outweighed by harm to the plaintiffs and their communities.

The District Court next looked to the likelihood of success on the merits under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) claim. In order to succeed on an APA claim, the plaintiffs must show that the agency act is arbitrary or capricious. The APA constrains an agency’s ability to change its practices or policies without acknowledging the change or providing an explanation. This constraint on changes to agency policy is not limited to formal rules or official policies. It applies to practices too. The District Court noted that the Plaintiffs have to show that there was a change in DHS practices with respect to TPS designations. The District Court noted that there is no dispute that DHS never acknowledged any change in practice and has not provided any explanation for such change.

What, you may ask, were the big changes that the Trump Administration enacted with regard to TPS designations? In previous administrations, the government looked at the current country conditions in the designated countries to determine whether it was proper to continue TPS designation status. The Trump administration changed that analysis. Rather, they only looked at the original reason for the designation of TPS status, and did that reason still exist? In other words, they disregarded current conditions if they were not part of the originating condition or were not directly related to the originating condition. For example, in 2010 Haitian residents were given TPS status due to the 2010 earthquake that devastated the country. The United States extended the designation for the past eight years because of the continued humanitarian crises in Haiti including a hurricane, a cholera epidemic, and economic conditions. The Trump administration changed this analysis to limit considerations only to the 2010 earthquake and the after-effects of the earthquake.

I promised you highlights from the decision and here is one. The District Court quotes an email from a career employee at DHS:

We can comb through the country conditions to try to see what else there might be, but the basic problem is that it IS bad there [with respect to] all of the standard metrics. Our strongest argument for termination, we thought, is just that it is not bad in a way clearly linked to the initial disasters prompting the designations. We can work with RU to try to get more, and/or comb through the country conditions we have again looking for positive gems, but the conditions are what they are.

Ramos v. Nielsen, No. 18-cv-01554-EMC, slip op. *25 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 3, 2018) (emphasis in the original).

This change in analysis could violate the TPS statute itself. Based on the APA claim alone, the District Court found that the Plaintiffs were entitled to a preliminary injunction.

Then the case gets really fun, and the District Court looks to the Equal Protection Claims raised by the Plaintiffs. “Proof of a racially discriminatory intent or purpose of required to show a violation of the Equal Protection Clause,” and, “[w]hen there is proof that a discriminatory purpose has been a motivating factor in the [government’s] decision, …judicial deference [to that decision] is no longer justified.” Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Housing Development Corp., 429 U.S. 252 (1977). Here, the Plaintiffs have provided evidence that DHS was influenced by Trump and/or the White House (specifically Stephen Miller, John Kelly, and Gene Hamilton) in TPS decision-making and Trump has expressed animus against non-white, non-European immigrants.

The District Court then lists some of Trump’s greatest hits evidencing racial animus. These include: 1) characterizing Mexican immigrants as drug dealers or users, criminal and racists; 2) calling for a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States; 3) stating that all immigrants from Haiti have AIDS and that Nigerians once they saw the United States would never go back to their huts in Africa; 4) the famous: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” The list goes on.

The District Court noted that not only was there direct evidence of racial animus, but there is also circumstantial evidence of race being a motivating factor. First, the TPS terminations weigh more heavily on non-white, non-European individuals. In fact, as the District Court noted, it affects those populations exclusively. Also, the decision-making process is suggestive of a pre-determined outcome not based on an objective assessment. The record evidence indicates that the political employees were “repackaging” the DHS career employee memos in order to get to Trump’s desired result of terminating TPS. Frank Cissna (the current USCIS Director) sent an email on August 29, 2018 stating:

The memo reads like one person who strongly supports extending TPS for Sudan wrote everything up to the recommendation section, and then someone who opposes extension snuck up behind the first guy, clubbed him over the head, pushed his senseless body out of the way, and finished the memo. Am I missing something?

Ramos v. Nielsen, slip op. at *33 (emphasis in the original). The District Court found, at the very least, the evidence submitted by the Plaintiffs supports serious questions on the merits of the Equal Protection Claim. Combined with a balance of hardships that tips sharply in Plaintiff’s favor, a preliminary injunction based on the Equal Protection claim (and not just the APA claim is also warranted). Ramos v. Nielsen, slip op. at *37.

Finally, the District Court considered whether the Equal Protection claim should be evaluated based on the deferential standard articulated by the Supreme Court in Trump v. Hawaii, __ U.S. __, 138 S. Ct. 2392 (2018). The District Court distinguished this case from Trump v. Hawaii: 1) there is no indication that national security or foreign policy was a reason to terminate TPS designations; 2) the plaintiffs here unlike the plaintiffs in Trump v. Hawaii are already in the United States and have greater constitutional protections than those seeking admission for the first time; and 3) the executive order in Trump v. Hawaii was issued pursuant to a very broad grant of statutory discretion. Congress has not given DHS carte balance to terminate TPS for any reason whatsoever.

The District Court enjoined the government from terminating TPS for Sudan, Haiti, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, pending resolution of this case on the merits. Second, the government must take all administrative actions needed to protect the status quo pending completion of discovery and a ruling on the merits. In other words, everyone gets to keep their EADs. It’s a very fun read; and an excellent decision. Given the new composition of the Supreme Court, I don’t know how long this decision will last. To read the decision in its entirety, please click on the link below.

Ramos v. Nielsen, No. 18-cv-01554-EMC (N.D. Cal. Oct. 3, 2018).

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