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Judicial Intervention Regarding Unlawful Citizenship & Immigration Restrictions

Judicial Intervention Regarding Unlawful Citizenship & Immigration Restrictions

On December 9, 2019, Judge Maxine Chesney for the Northern District of California ordering the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) not to implement specific changes to their citizenship and immigration policy. These changes would impose restrictions on lawful permanent residents (LPRs)—also known as “green card holders”—for obtaining citizenship and other immigration benefits.

These changes were announced by DHS in October, prompting the City of Seattle, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), the City of Seattle, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Self-Help for the Elderly, OneAmerica, and Central American Resource Center of California (the Plaintiffs) to file a lawsuit in federal court, seeking to enjoin DHS from putting the new restrictions into effect.

The Complaint’s Allegations

In their complaint, the Plaintiffs alleged that DHS failed to comply with the proper protocol for promulgating the proposed restrictions, harmed the Plaintiff organizations by undermining their mission and jeopardizing their funding, and injured the City of Seattle by creating a barrier to naturalization for the city’s low-income residents.

Additionally, the Plaintiffs claim that DHS’s purported motivation behind the new rules is “an unsubstantiated and perpetual justification that conceals the agency’s true purpose, which is to limit access to naturalization and thereby deprive those eligible for naturalization of political rights, including the right to vote.”

The Court’s Ruling

Among the relief listed by the complaint was an injunction stopping DHS from imposing the new restrictions. An injunction is a type of temporary relief where the court orders someone to perform or refrain from performing a particular act. Such relief is appropriate to prevent imminent harm from befalling the Plaintiffs and that the Plaintiffs are likely to succeed in proving their full case on its merits.

Ultimately, Judge Chesney ruled in favor of the Plaintiffs and issued a nationwide injunction against the USCIS from implementing the changes, reasoning that they were likely to succeed in their claim that USCIS failed to adhere to the notice-and-comment provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act for rulemaking.

Consult Musa-Obregon Law PC for Legal Advice

If you are concerned about how recent developments in U.S. immigration law may affect you and your family’s legal rights, you should contact Musa-Obregon Law PC for a consultation with one of our experienced immigration attorneys about your case.

Call us at (888) 502-8461 or contact our office online to schedule an appointment for a case consultation today.


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