J.O.P. v. DHS: Class-Action Lawsuit Seeks Protection for Asylum Seekers Who Arrived as Unaccompanied Children

Last Updated

January 11, 2021

CLINIC, along with Kids In Need of Defense, or KIND, Public Counsel, and Goodwin Procter on July 1, 2019, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The suit challenges a new policy that limits the ability to seek asylum for certain children who arrived in the country alone. The lawsuit alleges that the policy by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services violates the plaintiffs' rights under the 5th Amendment, the Administrative Procedures Act, and the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. The defendants are the Department of Homeland Security and its acting secretary, and USCIS and its acting director. The plaintiffs are five child asylum seekers.

  • Complaint
  • Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs’ TRO Motion
  • TRO (issued Aug. 2, 2019)
  • Memorandum Opinion Granting TRO (issued Aug. 2, 2019)
  • Order Extending the TRO (issued Aug. 13, 2019)
  • Order Extending the TRO (issued Sept. 23, 2019)
  • Preliminary Injunction (Issued Oct. 15, 2019)
  • Plaintiffs' Motion to Enforce the Preliminary Injunction (filed Nov. 22, 2019)
  • Plaintiffs' Brief in Support of Motion to Enforce the Preliminary Injunction (filed Nov. 22, 2019)
  • Plaintiffs Reply in Support of Their Motion to Enforce the Preliminary Injunction (filed Jan. 24, 2020)
  • Plaintiffs' Proposed Order Accompanying the Motion to Enforce the Preliminary Injunction (filed Nov. 22, 2019)
  • First Amended Complaint (filed Dec. 20, 2019)
  • Memorandum Opinion Denying Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and Plaintiffs’ Motion to Enforce the Preliminary Injunction (issued June 3, 2020)
  • Order Denying Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and Plaintiffs’ Motion to Enforce the Preliminary Injunction (issued June 3, 2020)
  • Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification and Appointment of Counsel (filed June 15, 2020)
  • Plaintiffs' Reply Brief in Support of Their Motion for Class Certification and Appointment of Counsel (filed July 27, 2020)
  • Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend the Preliminary Injunction (filed July 7, 2020)
  • Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend the Preliminary Injunction (filed July 7, 2020)
  • Plaintiffs' Reply Brief in Support of Their Motion to Amend the Preliminary Injunction (filed Aug. 4, 2020)
  • Selected documents from Amended Administrative Record (filed Oct. 2, 2020)
    • Defendants’ Index of Administrative Record
    • EOIR interim guidance re implementation of TVPRA’s asylum jurisdiction provision (Mar. 20, 2009)
    • OPLA interim guidance re TVPRA initial jurisdiction (Mar. 23, 2009) o USCIS training, “The TVPRA and UAC Determinations” (Mar. 11, 2013)
    • USCIS training, “Updated Procedures for Determining Initial Jurisdiction over UAC Asylum Applications” (May 28, 2013)
    • USCIS Asylum Office memo re “Updated Procedures for Interviewing Unaccompanied Alien Children in removal proceedings” (Apr. 28, 2016)
    • RAIO Lesson Plan on Children’s Claims (May 11, 2017)
    • Decision Memorandum from Lafferty to Cissna re “Changes to Procedures Relating to Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC)” (Jan. 3, 2018)
    • RAIO email re “UAC D1 meeting yesterday” (Jan. 4, 2018)
    • Memo for DHS Secretary re “Re-designation of Unaccompanied Alien Children Who No Longer Meet the Statutory Definition and Verification of Sponsor's Immigration Status” (signed Jan. 8, 2018)
    • ICE TA Memo to File Template re IJ UAC Determinations (USCIS, June 2018)
    • Template for IJ UAC determination (USCIS, June 2018)
    • Email from John Lafferty re “Matter of M-A-C-O-, 27 I&N Dec. 477 (BIA 2018)” (Oct. 17, 2018)
  • Memorandum Opinion Granting Class Certification and Granting in Part Plaintiffs’ Motion to Amend the Preliminary Injunction (issued Dec. 21, 2020)
  • Order Granting Class Certification and Granting in Part Plaintiffs’ Motion to Amend the Preliminary Injunction (issued Dec. 21, 2020)
  • Second Amended Complaint (filed Jan. 11, 2021)