This case arose in the context of the 2014 surge of Central American refugees. Filed in December 2014, it challenged the government’s policy of denying bail to asylum-seeking mothers and children for the purpose of deterring others from entering the United States.

In January 2015, the government moved to dismiss, asserting that the court lacked jurisdiction and also denying that there was such a policy. The district court denied the government’s motion to dismiss and granted our motion for a preliminary injunction and for provisional class certification, finding that “ICE has a policy of taking deterrence of mass migration into account in making custody determinations,” and that this policy probably violated the immigration laws and caused irreparable injury to members of the plaintiff class.

In May 2015 the government notified the court that it would “discontinue, at this time, invoking deterrence as a factor in custody determinations in all cases involving families.” In response, we agreed to the entry of an order dissolving the preliminary injunction and “administratively closing” the case, subject to reinstatement should the government reinstitute the challenged practice.

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Covington & Burling LLP; Immigration Clinic; University Of Texas School of Law

Date filed

December 15, 2014