State of Hawaii v. Trump
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO ENFORCE, OR, IN THE ALTERNATIVE, TO MODIFY PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION re #328 - Signed by JUDGE DERRICK K. WATSON on 7/13/2017. (emt, )CERTIFICATE OF SERVICEParticipants registered to receive electronic notifications received this document electronically at the e-mail address listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). Participants not registered to receive electronic notifications were served by first class mail on the date of this docket entry
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF HAWAI‘I
STATE OF HAWAI‘I and ISMAIL
DONALD J. TRUMP, et al.,
CV. NO. 17-00050 DKW-KSC
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND
DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS’
MOTION TO ENFORCE, OR, IN
THE ALTERNATIVE, TO MODIFY
On June 26, 2017, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in this
matter, granted in part the Government’s stay application, “and narrow[ed] the scope
of the injunction” entered by this Court with respect to Sections 2(c), 6(a), and 6(b)
of Executive Order 13,780.1 Trump v. Int’l Refugee Assistance Project, Nos.
16-1436 (16A1190) and 16-1540 (16A1191), slip op. at 11–12 (U.S. June 26, 2017)
[hereinafter Slip. Op.] (per curiam). Plaintiffs challenge the Government’s
implementation of the non-enjoined portions of EO-2, asking this Court to enforce
or, in the alternative, to modify the scope of the existing preliminary injunction.
Executive Order 13,780 is entitled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the
United States,” 82 Fed. Reg. 13209 (Mar. 6, 2017) [hereinafter EO-2].
See Pls.’ Mot. to Enforce or, In the Alternative, to Modify Prelim. Inj., ECF No. 328
Upon careful consideration of the parties’ expedited submissions, the Court
concludes that on the record before it, Plaintiffs have met their burden of
establishing that the requested injunctive relief is necessary to preserve the status
quo pending appeal regarding the definition of “close familial relationship”
employed by the Government with respect to Sections 2(c), 6(a) and 6(b) of EO-2.
Plaintiffs have similarly met their burden with respect to refugees with a formal
assurance, as it relates to the Government’s implementation of Sections 6(a) and
6(b) of EO-2, and participants in the Lautenberg Program. Plaintiffs’ Motion is
accordingly GRANTED in these respects and DENIED to the extent other relief is
sought, for the reasons detailed below.
The Court briefly recounts the factual and procedural background relevant to
This Court’s March 29, 2017 Preliminary Injunction
On March 15, 2017, the Court temporarily enjoined Sections 2 and 6 of EO-2
nationwide (“TRO”). See Hawaii v. Trump, --- F. Supp. 3d ---, 2017 WL 1011673
(D. Haw. Mar. 15, 2017). Upon Plaintiffs’ motion, full briefing, and a March 29,
2017 hearing, the Court converted the TRO into a preliminary injunction (“PI”).
Hawaii v. Trump, --- F. Supp. 3d ---, 2017 WL 1167383 (D. Haw. Mar. 29, 2017).
The Government appealed the Court’s ruling on March 30, 2017. Notice of
Appeal, ECF No. 271.
The Ninth Circuit’s June 12, 2017 Opinion
The Ninth Circuit’s June 12, 2017 per curiam opinion affirmed the injunction
as to Section 2(c), suspending entry of nationals from the six designated countries
for 90 days; Section 6(a), suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program
(“USRAP”) for 120 days; and Section 6(b), capping the entry of refugees to 50,000
in fiscal year 2017. Hawaii v. Trump, --- F.3d ---, 2017 WL 2529640, at *29 (9th
Cir. June 12, 2017) (per curiam). The Ninth Circuit vacated the portions of the
injunction that prevented the Government from conducting internal reviews, as
otherwise directed in Sections 2 and 6, and the injunction to the extent that it ran
against the President. Id., 2017 WL 2529640, at *29. The Ninth Circuit remanded
to this Court with instructions to enter an amended injunction consistent with its
opinion. This Court accordingly entered an amended injunction on June 19, 2017,
upon issuance of the expedited mandate. Am. Prelim. Inj., Hawaii v. Trump, No.
1:17-cv-00050-DKW-KSC (D. Haw. June 19, 2017), ECF No. 291.
The Supreme Court’s June 26, 2017 Order
The Government petitioned for certiorari and filed an application to stay both
the preliminary injunction entered in this case and the one entered by the District of
Maryland in a case now consolidated on appeal. Int’l Refugee Assistance Project v.
Trump, --- F. Supp. 3d ---, 2017 WL 1018235 (D. Md. Mar. 16, 2017) [hereinafter
IRAP] (issuing preliminary injunction); aff’d in part, vacated in part, 857 F.3d 554
(4th Cir. May 25, 2017) (No. TDC-17-0361, D. Md.; renumbered No. 17-1351, 4th
Cir.). On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in both cases. Slip
Op. at 9. The Supreme Court also granted “the Government’s applications to stay
the injunctions, to the extent the injunctions prevent enforcement of §2(c) with
respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or
entity in the United States,” Slip Op. at 11–12.
More specifically, the Supreme Court stayed the preliminary injunctions
relating to Section 2(c) in the following manner—
The injunctions remain in place only with respect to parties
similarly situated to Doe, Dr. Elshikh, and Hawaii. In practical
terms, this means that §2(c) may not be enforced against foreign
nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship
with a person or entity in the United States. All other foreign
nationals are subject to the provisions of EO-2.
Slip Op. at 12. The Supreme Court explained that the facts in this case and in IRAP
“illustrate the sort of relationship that qualifies”—
For individuals, a close familial relationship is required. A
foreign national who wishes to enter the United States to live
with or visit a family member, like Doe’s wife or Dr. Elshikh’s
mother-in-law, clearly has such a relationship. As for entities,
the relationship must be formal, documented, and formed in the
ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading EO-2.
The students from the designated countries who have been
admitted to the University of Hawaii have such a relationship
with an American entity. So too would a worker who accepted
an offer of employment from an American company or a lecturer
invited to address an American audience. Not so someone who
enters into a relationship simply to avoid §2(c): For example, a
nonprofit group devoted to immigration issues may not contact
foreign nationals from the designated countries, add them to
client lists, and then secure their entry by claiming injury from
Slip Op. at 12.
With respect to the enjoined portions of Section 6 relating to refugee
admissions and the refugee cap, the Supreme Court reasoned that the “equitable
balance struck [with respect to Section 2(c)] applies in this context as well.” Slip
Op. at 13. It held—
An American individual or entity that has a bona fide
relationship with a particular person seeking to enter the country
as a refugee can legitimately claim concrete hardship if that
person is excluded. As to these individuals and entities, we do
not disturb the injunction. But when it comes to refugees who
lack any such connection to the United States, for the reasons we
have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government’s
compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.
The Government’s application to stay the injunction with respect
to §§6(a) and (b) is accordingly granted in part. Section 6(a)
may not be enforced against an individual seeking admission as a
refugee who can credibly claim a bona fide relationship with a
person or entity in the United States. Nor may §6(b); that is,
such a person may not be excluded pursuant to §6(b), even if the
50,000-person cap has been reached or exceeded.
Id. (internal citations omitted).
Plaintiffs’ Challenge To The Government’s Implementation Of EO-2
The Government began enforcing the non-enjoined portions of EO-2 on June
29, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. EDT. In doing so, the Government published guidance to its
agencies on the implementation and enforcement of EO-2, guidance that has been
amended, and which the Government has indicated will be amended again, as
circumstances warrant. See Katyal Decl., Exs. A–C, & F, ECF Nos. 329-1, 329-2,
329-3, & 329-6.
The Government’s guidance defines “close familial relationship” as including
a parent, parent-in-law, spouse, fiancé, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law,
daughter-in-law, sibling (whether whole or half), and step relationships. These
relationships are exempt from EO-2. The Government’s definition does not
include grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins,
brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.2 Plaintiffs challenge the Government’s
The Government’s first official guidance published on June 29, 2017, before enforcement of
Sections 2(c), 6(a), and 6(b), indicated that fiancés would not be considered to be close family
members for purposes of applying the Supreme Court’s decision. That guidance was
With respect to refugee program guidance, the Government instructed
agencies that, “[t]he fact that a resettlement agency in the United States has provided
a formal assurance for a refugee seeking admission . . . is not sufficient in and of
itself to establish a qualifying relationship for that refugee with an entity in the
United States.” Katyal Decl., Ex. B, Dep’t of State, untitled guidance document
(received by Pls. June 29, 2017), ECF No. 329-2. The Government also initially
indicated that it had not determined whether refugees with a “bona fide relationship
with a person or entity in the United States” would be permitted to travel after July 6,
2017, and would issue further guidance. See id. Updated guidance from the State
Department instructs its private voluntary agency partners that “[n]o new [advanced
booking notifications (‘ABNs’)] for travel for cases with or without the required
bona fide relationship to a person or entity in the United States may be requested at
this time. We hope to allow new ABNs for such cases to resume in the very near
future, once we clarify verification procedures.” Katyal Decl., Ex. F, E-mail from
Lawrence E. Bartlett, Dir., Office of Admissions, Bureau of Population, Refugees,
& Migration, to Voluntary Agencies (July 3, 2017, 16:30 EDT), ECF No. 329-6.
Plaintiffs contest this guidance, principally asserting that refugees with a formal
subsequently updated to include fiancés. See Katyal Decl., Ex. C, Dep’t of State, Exec. Order on
Visas, at 3 (June 29, 2017), ECF No. 329-3, available at
assurance can credibly claim a bona fide relationship with a refugee resettlement
Plaintiffs additionally request that the Court recognize that certain client
relationships with legal services organizations are protected by this Court’s
injunction, and that the participants in three specific refugee programs are
categorically exempt from EO-2: “U.S.-affiliated Iraqis” at risk of persecution
because of their contributions to the United States’ combat mission in Iraq;
participants in the Central American Minors Program; and participants in the
Lautenberg Program, each of which, Plaintiffs argue, requires participants to have
close family ties with the United States, a relationship with a “designated
resettlement agency,” or both. Plaintiffs ask the Court to issue an order either
enforcing or modifying its amended preliminary injunction to reflect the scope of
relief requested in the Motion.3
Plaintiffs request that the Court issue an order enforcing or modifying its preliminary injunction
to reflect that
(1) the injunction bars the Government from implementing the Executive
Order against grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law,
aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States;
(2) the injunction prohibits the Government from applying sections 6(a) and
6(b) to exclude refugees who: (i) have a formal assurance from a
resettlement agency within the United States (ii) have a bona fide client
relationship with a U.S. legal services organization; or (iii) are in the U.S.
Refugee Admissions Program (“USRAP”) through the Iraqi Direct Access
Program for “U.S.-affiliated Iraqis,” the Central American Minors
Program, or the Lautenberg Program; (3) the injunction bars defendants
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 62(c) allows this Court to issue further orders
with respect to an injunction it issued, notwithstanding appeal, in order to preserve
the status quo or ensure compliance with its earlier orders. See Nat. Res. Def.
Council, Inc. v. Sw. Marine Inc., 242 F.3d 1163, 1166 (9th Cir. 2001).4 Pursuant to
Rule 62(c), “[t]he court may modify or broaden the scope of its injunction under its
continuing duty to supervise the relief granted if it is informed of new facts that
require additional supervisory action.”5 Nat’l Grange of the Order of Patrons of
from suspending any part of the refugee admission process, including any
part of the “Advanced Booking” process, for individuals with a bona fide
relationship with a U.S. person or entity; and (4) the preliminary injunction
prohibits the Government from applying a presumption that an applicant
lacks “a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
See also Hoffman for & on Behalf of N.L.R.B. v. Beer Drivers & Salesmen’s Local Union No. 888,
536 F.2d 1268, 1276 (9th Cir. 1976) (addressing situations in which a district court “has a
continuing duty to maintain a status quo” and stating, “[w]e believe the rule should be, and we so
hold that, in the kinds of cases where the court supervises a continuing course of conduct and
where as new facts develop additional supervisory action by the court is required, an appeal from
the supervisory order does not divest the district court of jurisdiction to continue its supervision,
even though in the course of that supervision the court acts upon or modifies the order from which
the appeal is taken”). The current status quo pending appeal is the preliminary injunction which
enjoins defendants from enforcing portions of EO-2, as modified by the Supreme Court’s June 26,
See also Toussaint v. McCarthy, 801 F.2d 1080, 1090 (9th Cir. 1986) (“A change in the law may
constitute a changing circumstance requiring the modification of an injunction. An intervening
judicial opinion may require modification of an injunction.”), overruled in part on other grounds
by Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472 (1995).
Husbandry v. Cal. State Grange, 182 F. Supp. 3d 1065, 1074 (E.D. Cal. 2016)
(citing, inter alia, Sys. Fed’n No. 91 v. Wright, 364 U.S. 642, 647–48 (1961)
(holding that a district court has “wide discretion” to modify an injunction based on
changed circumstances or new facts); A & M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 284 F.3d
1091, 1098–99 (9th Cir. 2002) (modification of injunction during pendency of
appeal was proper to clarify the injunction and supervise compliance in light of new
This Court is guided by the Supreme Court’s instruction that “[c]rafting a
preliminary injunction is an exercise of discretion and judgment, often dependent as
much on the equities of a given case as the substance of the legal issues it presents.”
Slip. Op. at 9 (citations omitted).
Plaintiffs initially moved this Court to clarify the scope of the injunction, in light of the Supreme
Court’s June 26, 2017 modification (ECF. No. 293), a motion which the Court denied without
reaching the merits. See Hawaii v. Trump, --- F. Supp. 3d ----, 2017 WL 2882696 (D. Haw. July
6, 2017). On July 7, 2017, the Ninth Circuit dismissed Plaintiffs’ appeal of that decision and
denied as moot their motion for an injunction pending appeal. See Hawaii v. Trump, No.
17-16366, slip op. at 3 (9th Cir. July 7, 2017), ECF No. 3. The Ninth Circuit explained that
although this Court does “not have authority to clarify an order of the Supreme Court, it does
possess the ability to interpret and enforce the Supreme Court’s order, as well as the authority to
enjoin against, for example, a party’s violation of the Supreme Court’s order placing effective
limitations on the scope of the district court’s preliminary injunction.” Id. Because Plaintiffs
now seek such injunctive relief, the Court reaches the merits of their request, consistent with the
Ninth Circuit’s guidance. See id. (“Plaintiff’s motion before the district court was clear: it sought
clarification of the Supreme Court’s June 26 order, not injunctive relief. Because the district
court was not asked to grant injunctive relief or to modify the injunction, we do no fault it for not
With this framework in mind, the Court turns to Plaintiffs’ specific requests
for injunctive relief.
The Government’s Implementation Of The Supreme Court’s “Close
Familial Relationship” Standard Is Unduly Restrictive
Plaintiffs request that the Court enjoin the Government from implementing
EO-2 against grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts,
uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United States. The Supreme
Court held that foreign nationals who claim a bona fide relationship with a person in
the United States must have a “close familial relationship” in order to be excluded
from the effects of EO-2, but the Supreme Court did not comprehensively define that
phrase. Slip Op. at 12. The Government, in an effort to provide consular officials
and agencies with the necessary guidance to implement the standard in a very short
window of time, created a list of family relations it claims satisfies the standard.
The Government’s list includes only parents, parents-in-law, spouses, fiancés,
children, adult sons or daughters, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, siblings (whether
whole or half), and step relationships, principally in reliance on certain provisions
within the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq.,
applicable to family-based immigrant visas. See, e.g., 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101(b)(1)–(2);
1151(b)(2); 1153(a); 1184(d).7
In its June 26, 2017 decision, the Supreme Court identified illustrative, but not
exhaustive, examples of “close familial relationships.” A spouse and a
mother-in-law “clearly” qualify, but which other relationships meet this standard is
less clear. See Slip Op. at 12. What is clear from the Supreme Court’s decision is
that this Court’s analysis is to be guided by consideration of whether foreign
nationals have a requisite “connection” or “tie” to this country. See Slip Op. at 11
(holding that the injunction is not to be enforced against foreign nationals with “no
connection to the United States at all,” those who “lack any connection to this
country,” and “when there is no tie between the foreign national and the United
States.”). Put another way, context matters. And when appropriately considered
in the context of the June 26 order, the Government’s narrowly defined list finds no
support in the careful language of the Supreme Court or even in the immigration
statutes on which the Government relies.
First, the Government’s utilization of the specific, family-based visa
provisions of the INA identified above constitutes cherry-picking and resulted in a
The Government contends that, to the extent it also relies on INA provisions that govern the
“allocation of a numerically-limited number of visas . . . [,] all of these provisions draw lines in the
context of determining which familial relationships are close enough to petition for a visa under
the INA. That is exactly the type of line-drawing that the Supreme Court’s opinion requires.”
Mem. in Opp’n 5 n.2 (citation omitted).
predetermined and unduly restrictive reading of “close familial relationship.”
Other, equally relevant federal immigration statutes define a close family in a much
broader manner. See, e.g., Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 297, 310 (1993)
(including “aunts, uncles, [and] grandparents” as among “close blood relatives”)
(quoting 8 C.F.R. § 242.24 (1992), recodified at 8 C.F.R. § 236.3(b)(1)(iii)); see
also Fam. Sponsor Immigration Act of 2002, Pub. L. 107-150, § 2(a) (entitled
“Permitting Substitution of Alternative Close Family Sponsor In Case of Death of
Petitioner,” and amending 8 U.S.C. § 1183a(f) to allow sisters-in-law,
brothers-in-law, grandparents, and grandchildren to sponsor aliens for admission).8
Second, Defendants point to nothing in the Supreme Court’s order that
supports their truncated reading. In fact, the Supreme Court specifically included a
mother-in-law within its definition of “close family” despite the exclusion of
mothers-in-law from the statutes relied upon by the Government in crafting its
guidance. The Supreme Court was clear that EO-2 may not be enforced against Dr.
Elshikh’s mother-in-law, not because she is merely the mother of his wife, but
because she “clearly has such a [close familial] relationship” with Dr. Elshikh
Plaintiffs additionally identify other immigration laws that enable an individual to seek admission
on behalf of “[g]randchild(ren)” and “[n]iece[s] or nephew[s],” 81 Fed. Reg. 92,266, 92,280 (Dec.
19, 2016); to apply for asylum if a “grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew” resides
in the United States, 69 Fed. Reg. 69,480, 69,488 (Nov. 29, 2004); to apply for naturalization on
behalf of a grandchild, 8 U.S.C. § 1433(a); and to qualify as a special immigrant if he is the
“grandparent” of a person in the United States, see USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, Pub. L. No.
107-56, § 421(b)(3) (2001).
himself. Slip. Op. at 12. Had the Supreme Court intended to protect only
immediate family members and parents-in-law, surely it could have said so. It did
Indeed, Supreme Court case law drawn from other contexts supports a
broader definition of “close familial relationship” than that urged by the
Government. See, e.g., Moore v. City of E. Cleveland, 431 U.S. 494, 503–04
(1977) (holding that the invalidation of a local housing ordinance was warranted, in
part, because the “tradition of uncles, aunts, cousins, and especially grandparents
sharing a household with parents and children has roots equally venerable and
equally deserving of constitutional recognition”); Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57,
63–65 (2000) (plurality opinion) (“[D]emographic changes of the past century make
it difficult to speak of an average American family. The composition of families
varies greatly from household to household. . . . In many cases, grandparents play
an important role.”).9
In sum, the Government’s definition of “close familial relationship” is not
only not compelled by the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision, but contradicts it.
See also Caldwell v. Brown, No. C09-1332RSL, 2010 WL 3501839, at *2 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 3,
2010) (“[T]he grandparent-grandchild relationship is entitled to respect and some level of
recognition in our society. As the United States Supreme Court has recognized, grandparents
often play an ‘important role’ in the lives of their grandchildren. . . . The question is not whether
grandparents are important members of the American family: they are.” (quoting Troxel, 530 U.S.
Equally problematic, the Government’s definition represents the antithesis of
common sense. Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be
defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close
family members. The Government’s definition excludes them. That simply
cannot be. See generally Klayman v. Obama, 142 F. Supp. 3d 172, 188 (D.D.C.
2015) (noting that courts should not “abandon all common sense” when considering
In light of the careful balancing of the hardships and the equitable
considerations mandated by the Supreme Court, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have
met their burden of establishing that the specific requested injunctive relief related to
EO-2 is necessary to preserve the status quo pending appeal. Plaintiffs’ Motion is
accordingly granted with respect to this issue, and the Court will modify the
injunction in the manner requested.
The Government May Not Exclude Refugees With A Credible Claim Of
A Bona Fide Relationship With A Person Or Entity In The United States
Plaintiffs ask the Court to modify the injunction with respect to Sections 6(a)
and 6(b) in several respects, each of which is addressed in turn.
Although the Government contends that its “reasonable construction” is entitled to deference
(see Mem. in Opp’n 9), it offers no authority in support of that proposition.
The Government May Not Exclude Refugees Covered By a
Formal Assurance Between The Government And A United
States Refugee Resettlement Agency
Plaintiffs seek to prevent the Government from implementing agency
guidance that “[t]he fact that a resettlement agency in the United States has provided
a formal assurance for a refugee seeking admission . . . is not sufficient in and of
itself to establish a qualifying relationship for the refugee with an entity in the
United States.” Katyal Decl., Ex. B, Dep’t of State, untitled guidance document
(received by Pls. June 29, 2017), ECF No. 329-1. Plaintiffs insist that a formal
assurance issued by a resettlement agency satisfies the Supreme Court’s bona fide
relationship requirement due to the formal nature of the agreement and the extensive
obligations it triggers on the part of the voluntary agency or affiliate.
The parties do not dispute that before any refugee is admitted to the United
States under the USRAP, the Department of State must receive a commitment
(“assurance”) from a resettlement agency. See Mem. in Opp’n to Emergency Mot.
to Clarify, Bartlett Decl. ¶¶ 14–19; ECF No. 301-1; see id. ¶ 16 (“All refugees
receive a sponsorship assurance from a resettlement agency before they travel to the
United States.”). Once a particular refugee has been approved by the Department
of Homeland Security and provides a satisfactory medical evaluation, the refugee is
assigned to one of several Government-contracted resettlement agencies, which then
submits an assurance agreeing to provide basic, required services if and when the
refugee arrives in the United States. Bartlett Decl. ¶¶ 19–21, ECF No. 301-1. The
Government quarrels with the effect of such an assurance. According to the
Government, because the assurance is an agreement between the State Department
and a resettlement agency, not an agreement between a resettlement agency and the
refugee who benefits from the assurance, the assurance cannot evidence the type of
bona fide relationship contemplated by the Supreme Court. Mem. in Opp’n 11.
The Court disagrees.
Nothing in the Supreme Court’s decision requires a refugee to enter into a
contract with a United States entity in order to demonstrate the type of formal
relationship necessary to avoid the effects of EO-2. An assurance from a United
States refugee resettlement agency, in fact, meets each of the Supreme Court’s
touchstones: it is formal, it is a documented contract, it is binding, it triggers
responsibilities and obligations, including compensation, it is issued specific to an
individual refugee only when that refugee has been approved for entry by the
Department of Homeland Security, and it is issued in the ordinary course, and
historically has been for decades. See Slip Op. at 12. Bona fide does not get any
more bona fide than that.11 Accordingly, Plaintiffs’ Motion is granted with respect
to this specific request for injunctive relief.12
Even if the Government is correct that the resettlement agency providing an assurance typically
does not have “direct contact” with the refugee prior to his or her arrival, no such “direct contact”
No Modification With Respect To Legal Services Organizations Is
Plaintiffs request that the Court modify its injunction to specify that the
Government is prohibited from applying Sections 6(a) and 6(b) to exclude refugees
who have a bona fide client relationship with a United States legal services
The Government previously noted that there currently is no applicable
guidance regarding the treatment of legal services providers because the nature of
such representational services varies significantly. See Mem. in Opp’n to
is required anywhere in the Supreme Court’s decision. Moreover, the resettlement agency’s
binding commitments arise when the agency provides a formal sponsorship assurance. See
Bartlett Decl. ¶¶ 20–21, ECF No. 301-1; see also Suppl. Hetfield Decl. ¶¶ 4–5, ECF No. 336-3.
The resettlement agency suffers a “concrete injury” in the form of lost resources when resettlement
is thwarted by the very Government that approved that refugee’s admission. See Exodus Refugee
Immigration, Inc. v. Pence, 165 F. Supp. 3d 718, 729, 731-732 (S.D. Ind.), aff’d 838 F.3d 902 (7th
Cir. 2016); see also Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc. v. Pence, No. 1:15-cv-01858-TWP-DKL,
2016 WL 1222265, at *5 (S.D. Ind. Mar. 29, 2016) (denying stay pending appeal pursuant to Rule
62(c), based, in part, on finding that the “State’s conduct harms [the resettlement agency by]
requir[ing] it to shift its resources to make up for the funding it will lose, [which] will have a
detrimental effect on its Syrian and non-Syrian clients’ resettlement and transition to life in the
United States”), aff’d 838 F.3d 902 (7th Cir. 2016). A relationship that results in such concrete
hardship to a United States entity is precisely the circumstance that the Supreme Court has found
to be deserving of exclusion from the effects of EO-2. See Slip Op. at 13.
Plaintiffs complain of travel procedures and booking dates that they assert the Government is
using to flout this Court’s injunction. See, e.g., Suppl. Hetfield Decl. ¶¶ 4–5 & Ex. A (E-mail
from Lawrence E. Bartlett, to Voluntary Agencies (July 8, 2017, 8:05 EDT)), ECF No. 336-3. As
best the Court can discern, regardless of the booking date involved, these complaints all relate to
refugees with formal assurances, who the Court has now determined have the requisite bona fide
relationship contemplated by the Supreme Court, and who are therefore excluded from the
application of EO-2. No further relief covering these refugees appears to be necessary, and the
Court denies any such request as moot. If this ruling and the related injunction modifications set
forth in this Order do not resolve or do not address Plaintiffs’ travel procedure concerns, an
application offering further detail may be filed.
Emergency Mot. to Clarify Prelim Inj. 20–21, ECF No. 301. The Court agrees.
Plaintiffs, for instance, advocate that foreign nationals consulting abroad with
“affiliates” of American legal services providers regarding United States
immigration law qualify as having a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a
person or entity in the United States. That conclusion, while conceivable, appears
to be nearly impossible to reach absent additional facts, such as with respect to the
nature of the consultation and affiliation. A categorical exemption of the sort
requested would run afoul of the Supreme Court’s order, which provides at least one
example of when such a legal services client relationship would not be protected.
See Slip Op. at 12.
Accordingly, to the extent Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief on behalf of IRAP
and similar legal services providers, they fail to meet their burden, and the Court
declines to issue the categorical modification sought.
Categorical Modifications Relating To U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis, The
Central American Minors Program, And The Lautenberg
Plaintiffs, joined by amici IRAP and HIAS, ask that the Court enforce or
modify the injunction due to the Government’s alleged refusal to recognize
particular refugees who have the requisite relationship to a United States entity or
close family member contemplated by the Supreme Court. More specifically,
Plaintiffs seek relief on behalf of refugees who accessed the USRAP through the
Iraqi Direct Access Program for U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis, the Central American Minors
Program, and the Lautenberg Program. See Br. of IRAP et al. as Amici Curiae in
Supp. of Pls.’ Mot. 10–13, ECF No. 339.
Direct Access Program For U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis
Plaintiffs contend that refugee applicants in the Iraqi Direct Access Program
for U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis are categorically exempt from Sections 6(a) and 6(b)
because they necessarily have the requisite bona fide relationship with a United
States person or entity. See Mem. in Supp. of Mot. 15 n.6; see also Br. of IRAP et
al. as Amici Curiae in Supp. of Pls.’ Mot. 11–12; Allen Decl. ¶¶ 17–24, ECF No.
336-5 (describing mechanics and goals of program). Under the program, Iraqis
who believe they are at risk or have experienced serious harm as a result of
associating with the United States Government since March 20, 2003 may apply
directly for resettlement as refugees in the United States, upon “verifiable proof of
U.S.-affiliated employment.” See Dep’t of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees,
& Migration, Fact Sheet: U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) Direct
Access Program for U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis (Mar. 11, 2016), available at
https://www.state.gov/j/prm/releases/factsheets/2016/254650.htm (“The following
individuals and their derivatives (spouse and unmarried children under age 21), with
verifiable proof of U.S.-affiliated employment, may seek access through this
program: 1. Iraqis who work/worked on a full-time basis as interpreters/translators
for the U.S. Government (USG) or Multi-National Forces (MNF-I) in Iraq; 2. Iraqis
who are/were employed by the USG in Iraq[.]”). Program applicants need not be
current employees of the United States or a United States-affiliated entity.
The Government opposes this request because the “Iraqi Direct Access
Program includes certain nonqualifying relationships with the U.S. Government
itself, as well as past (not current) relationships.” Mem. in Opp’n 15 n.6. The
Court concurs. Although U.S-Affiliated Iraqis with verifiable past employment
relationships with United States entities may qualify for participation in the
program, these applicants are not necessarily exempt from EO-2. The Supreme
Court’s guidance, as it relates to Section 6, clearly contemplates relationships that
are current and existing. That does not necessarily follow with respect to certain
Iraqi Direct Access Program applicants.
Accordingly, on the record before the Court, categorical relief is not
appropriate, and Plaintiffs’ Motion is denied with respect to the Iraqi Direct Access
Program for U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis.
Central American Minors Program
The Central American Minors (“CAM”) program “protects Central
Americans at risk by allowing lawfully present parents in the United States to
request refugee status for their children in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala
via the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.” See Dep’t of State, Cent. Am. Minors
Program (Nov. 2014), available at https://www.state.gov/j/prm/ra/cam/index.htm.
The Government argues that because the program also allows “caregivers” who are
merely “related to” the in-country parent or qualifying child to apply to the program,
these participants do not necessarily have a sufficiently close relationship to a
United States-based parent to qualify as a “close family member.” See Mem in
Opp’n 15 n.6; see also Dep’t of State, Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing
System (WRAPS), CAM Frequently Asked Questions (Nov. 2016), available at
While it appears that most of those eligible to participate in the program (e.g.,
minors with parents lawfully in the United States) would fall within those excluded
from EO-2, that is not categorically true for all of those in the program. Because
caregivers need not have the requisite “close familial relationship” to the in-country
parent, program-wide relief is not appropriate. Consequently, Plaintiffs’ Motion is
denied with respect to refugees who are in the USRAP through the CAM Program.
The Lautenberg Program permits certain nationals of the former Soviet Union
and other countries with “close family in the United States” to apply for refugee
status. See Dep’t of State, Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2017
(Sept. 15, 2016), available at
https://www.state.gov/j/prm/releases/docsforcongress/261956.htm (“This Priority 2
designation applies to Jews, Evangelical Christians, and Ukrainian Catholic and
Orthodox religious adherents identified in the Lautenberg Amendment, Public Law
No. 101-167, § 599D, 103 Stat. 1261 (1989) (codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1157) as
amended (‘Lautenberg Amendment’), with close family in the United States.”).
The Government opposes Plaintiffs’ request for categorical relief with respect
to the Lautenberg Program solely because the program includes grandparents and
grandchildren as “close family.” See Mem. in Opp’n 15 n.6 (“The Lautenberg
Program . . . includes grandparents and grandchildren in the family relationship
criteria for applicants.”); see also Suppl. Hetfield Decl. ¶ 6, ECF No. 336-3. In
light of the Court’s determination that grandparents and grandchildren are within the
penumbra of “close family” for purposes of the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision,
the Court rejects the Government’s position with respect to the Lautenberg Program.
That is, because all participants admitted through the Lautenberg Program,
including grandparents and grandchildren, must have a “close familial relationship”
as that term is used in the Supreme Court’s stay order, the categorical relief
requested by Plaintiffs is appropriate. As a result, Plaintiffs’ Motion is granted with
respect to refugees who are in the USRAP through the Lautenberg Program.
No Modification Is Warranted With Respect To The Government’s
Alleged Use Of A “Presumption”
In their Motion, Plaintiffs request modification of the injunction to prevent the
Government from applying a so-called presumption that an applicant lacks the
requisite bona fide relationship identified by the Supreme Court. However,
Plaintiffs present no substantive argument or authority in support of their request.
See Mot. 2, ECF No. 328; Mem. in Supp. of Mot., ECF No. 328-1. In fact, even in
the face of the Government’s opposition, which correctly noted that Plaintiffs appear
to have abandoned their presumption contention (see Mem. in Opp’n 2 n.1),
Plaintiffs’ reply brief remained silent (see generally Reply, ECF No. 342).
The Court accordingly finds that Plaintiffs have abandoned their presumption
argument, notwithstanding the relief sought in their proposed orders. Because
Plaintiffs present no discussion or authority in support of this request, there is no
basis to award the injunctive relief sought, and the Motion is denied.
Based on the foregoing, Plaintiffs’ Motion is GRANTED IN PART and
DENIED IN PART. The Court declines to stay this ruling or hold it in abeyance
should an emergency appeal of this order be filed.
The Court MODIFIES the preliminary injunction entered on March 29, 2017,
amended on June 19, 2017, and partially stayed by a June 26, 2017 decision of the
United States Supreme Court, to provide as follows:
It is hereby ADJUDGED, ORDERED, and DECREED that:
Defendants JOHN F. KELLY, in his official capacity as Secretary of
Homeland Security; REX W. TILLERSON, in his official capacity as Secretary of
State; and all their respective officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys,
and persons in active concert or participation with them, are hereby enjoined from
enforcing or implementing Sections 2 and 6 of Executive Order No. 13,780 across
the Nation—except for those portions of Sections 2 and 6 providing for internal
review procedures that do not burden individuals outside of the executive branch of
the federal government. Enforcement of the enjoined provisions in all places,
including the United States, at all United States borders and ports of entry, and in the
issuance of visas is prohibited, pending further orders from this Court.
Defendants JOHN F. KELLY, in his official capacity as Secretary of
Homeland Security; REX W. TILLERSON, in his official capacity as Secretary of
State; and all their respective officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys,
and persons in active concert or participation with them are enjoined fully from the
Applying section 2(c), 6(a) and 6(b) of Executive Order 13,780 to
exclude grandparents, grandchildren, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law,
aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins of persons in the United
Applying Section 6(a) and 6(b) of Executive Order 13,780 to exclude
refugees who: (i) have a formal assurance from an agency within the
United States that the agency will provide, or ensure the provision of,
reception and placement services to that refugee; or (ii) are in the U.S.
Refugee Admissions Program through the Lautenberg Program.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: July 13, 2017 at Honolulu, Hawai‘i.
State of Hawaii, et al. v. Trump, et al.; Civil No. 17-00050 DKW-KSC; ORDER GRANTING IN
PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION TO ENFORCE, OR, IN THE
ALTERNATIVE, TO MODIFY PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?