Louhghalam et al v. Trump, et al
Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton: ORDER entered. MEMORANDUM AND ORDER. For the forgoing reasons, the Court declines to impose any injunctive relief and will not renew the temporary restraining order that was entered on January 29, 2017 (Docket No. 6).So ordered.(Lima, Christine)
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 1 of 21
United States District Court
District of Massachusetts
Arghavan Louhghalam et al.
Donald J. Trump, President of
the United States, et al.
Civil Action No.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
This Court was initially asked 1) to issue a writ of habeas
corpus on behalf of by Arghavan Louhghalam and Mazdak
Pourabdollah Tootkaboni, lawful permanent residents who were
detained at Boston Logan International Airport (“Logan”) for
several hours upon arrival from an academic conference outside
the United States and 2) to declare unlawful Executive Order
13,769, promulgated by the President of the United States.
Late in the evening on January 28, 2017, United States
District Judge Allison D. Burroughs and United States Magistrate
Judge Judith G. Dein held a hearing on a motion of Louhghalam
and Tootkaboni for a temporary restraining order.
that hearing, Judge Burroughs and Magistrate Judge Dein entered
a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) that, inter alia,
prohibits the detention and/or removal of individuals with
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 2 of 21
approved refugee applications who would be legally admitted to
the United States in absence of the Executive Order.
is set to expire on Sunday, February 5, 2017.
Following entry of the TRO a flurry of activity has
resulted in the filing of an amended complaint wherein five
other Iranian nationals and Oxfam America, Inc. are named as
additional plaintiffs and the allowance of a motion by the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the University of
Massachusetts to intervene as plaintiffs.
Now pending before
this session is the informal motion of all of the plaintiffs to
continue in force the subject TRO which defendant opposes.
argument on that motion was heard earlier today.
Habeas petitioners Tootkaboni and Louhghalam are Iranian
nationals, Muslim and lawful permanent residents of the United
Both are currently employed as Associate Professors at
the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.
They were each
detained for nearly four hours at Logan Airport on January 28,
2017, without access to counsel, after returning from an
academic conference outside the country.
The five other individual plaintiffs are Iranian nationals
Three of them, Babak Yaghoubi Moghadam, his sister,
Fatemeh Yaghoubi Moghadam, and Ali Sanie are also lawful
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 3 of 21
Plaintiffs Zahrasadat Mirrazi Renani and
Leily Amirsardary are in the United States on valid F-1 student
Plaintiff Oxfam America Inc. is a subsidiary of a world-
wide non-profit organization that promotes policy reform in the
United States and abroad with respect to global poverty.
Defendants in this case are President of the United States,
Donald J. Trump, United States Customs and Border Protection
(“CBP”), Kevin K. McAleen, the Acting Commissioner of the CBP,
William Mohalley, the Boston Field Director of the CPB, and the
Department of Homeland Security and its Secretary, John Kelly.
Each individual defendant is sued in his official capacity.
The Executive Order
On January 27, 2017, the President of the United States
Donald J. Trump, issued Executive Order No. 13,769 entitled
“Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the
United States” (“EO”).
The EO directs changes to the policy and
process of admitting non-citizens into the United States
purportedly to protect national security and to provide a period
of review for relevant agencies to evaluate current procedures
and to propose and implement new procedures.
The changes in immigration procedure relevant to this
action are as follows.
The EO suspends for 90 days entry of
immigrants and non-immigrants from seven countries:
Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Exec. Order 13,769
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 4 of 21
The EO also suspends, for 120 days, the United States
Refugee Admission Program (“USRAP”). Id. § 5(b).
directs, after the suspension on USRAP ends, that the Secretary
of State prioritize applicants on the basis of religious-based
provided that the religion of the individual is a minority
religion in the individual’s country of nationality.
On February 1, 2017, White House counsel issued a
clarification to the Acting Secretary of State, the Attorney
General and the Secretary of Homeland Security that Sections
3(c) and 3(e) do not apply to lawful permanent residents.
The Immigration and Nationality Act
The Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), 8 U.S.C.
§ 1101 et seq.,
was originally enacted in 1952 and has been
amended several times, including in 1996 by the Illegal
Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (“IIRIRA”).
The INA governs immigration, naturalization, refugee assistance
and removal procedures and defines the circumstances that govern
the admission of aliens into the United States.
The relevant provision of the INA provides that:
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens
or of any class of aliens into the United States would be
detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may
by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem
necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of
aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 5 of 21
entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be
8 U.S.C. § 1182(f).
As described above, petitioners Tootkaboni and Louhghalam
filed a writ of habeas corpus on January 28, 2017.
middle of a weekend night, following a hearing, Judge Burroughs
and Magistrate Judge Dein, the assigned emergency district and
magistrate judges, respectively, entered a TRO preventing
individuals subject to the EO from being detained or removed
upon arrival at Logan.
The TRO also directed petitioners to
file an amended complaint and scheduled a hearing to occur prior
to the expiration of that order.
The matter was randomly
assigned to this judicial officer who, accordingly, scheduled a
hearing with respect to the continuance of the TRO.
Continuance of the TRO
In order to obtain a preliminary injunction or temporary
restraining order, the moving party must establish 1) a
reasonable likelihood of success on the merits, 2) the potential
for irreparable harm if the injunction is withheld, 3) a
favorable balance of hardships and 4) the effect on the public
interest. Jean v. Mass. State Police, 492 F.3d 24, 26-27 (1st
Cir. 2007); Quincy Cablesys., Inc. v. Sully’s Bar, Inc., 640 F.
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 6 of 21
Supp. 1159, 1160 (D. Mass. 1986).
Of these factors, the
likelihood of success on the merits “normally weighs heaviest on
the decisional scales.” Coquico, Inc. v. Rodriguez-Miranda, 562
F.3d 62, 66 (1st Cir. 2009).
The Court may accept as true “well-pleaded allegations [in
the complaint] and uncontroverted affidavits.” Rohm & Haas Elec.
Materials, LLC v. Elec. Circuits, 759 F. Supp. 2d 110, 114, n.2
(D. Mass. 2010) (quoting Elrod v. Burns, 427 U.S. 347, 350, n.1
(1976)). The Court may also rely on otherwise inadmissible
evidence, including hearsay. See Asseo v. Pan Am. Grain Co.,
Inc., 805 F.2d 23, 26 (1st Cir. 1986).
Ultimately, the issuance
of preliminary injunctive relief is “an extraordinary and
drastic remedy that is never awarded as of right.” Peoples Fed.
Sav. Bank v. People’s United Bank, 672 F.3d 1, 8-9 (1st Cir.
2012) (quoting Voice of the Arab World, Inc. v. MDTV Med. News
Now, Inc., 645 F.3d 26, 32 (1st Cir. 2011)).
The Court may extend temporary injunctive relief upon a
showing of good cause. Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(b)(2).
The claims for injunctive relief by the lawful
On February 1, 2017, the White House distributed a
memorandum to the Acting Secretary of State, the Acting Attorney
General and the Secretary of Homeland Security clarifying that
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 7 of 21
Sections 3(c) and 3(e) of the EO do not apply to lawful
That memorandum comports with the language of the Section
3(c) which temporarily suspends “entry” of aliens from the seven
Upon returning to the United States, lawful
permanent residents do not, however, typically “enter” the
country for purposes of the INA.
Although “entry” is no longer defined in the INA, it has
been replaced with the term “admission,” which is defined as
the lawful entry of the alien into the United States after
inspection and authorization by an immigration officer.
8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(13)(A) (emphasis added); see also Vartelas v.
Holder, 556 U.S. 257, 263 (2012) (explaining that Congress made
“admission” the “key word” and removed the definition of “entry”
from the statute).
Under the INA, lawful permanent residents are regarded as
seeking admission, i.e. entry, into the United States only if
they fall within six categories, including inter alia, being
absent from the United States for 180 days or more. See id.; 8
U.S.C. § 1101(a)(13)(c).
Therefore, the use of the term “entry” in Section 3(c)
indicates that the suspension was not intended to be applied to
lawful permanent residents.
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 8 of 21
In light of the government’s clarification that the EO will
not be applied to lawful permanent residents, the claims for
injunctive relief by plaintiffs Louhghalam, Tootkaboni, Sanie,
Fatemeh Moghadam and Babak Moghadam are moot.
With respect to
those individuals, there is “no ongoing conduct to enjoin”. Town
of Portsmouth v. Lewis, 813 F.3d 54, 58 (1st Cir. 2016).
any declaration with respect to the lawfulness of the EO would
be strictly advisory. See New Eng. Reg’l Council of Carpenters
v. Kinton, 284 F.3d 9, 18 (1st Cir. 2002) (remarking that it
would be “pointless” to declare the constitutionality of a
policy that had been revised during litigation).
Although the claims by the lawful permanent resident
plaintiffs for injunctive relief are moot, the claims for
injunctive relief by plaintiffs Renani and Amirsardary, holders
of F-1 visas, and Oxfam are not covered by that clarification
and thus the Court will address the merits of their claims for
The claims for injunctive relief by the
plaintiffs who hold F-1 Visas
Equal Protection claim
The Fifth Amendment protects aliens within the United
States from “invidious discrimination by the Federal
Government.” Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202, 210 (1982) (quoting
Mathews v. Diaz, 426 U.S. 67, 77); see also Yick Wo v. Hopkins,
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 9 of 21
118 U.S. 356, 369, (1886) (“[Equal Protection is] universal in
[its] application, to all persons within the territorial
jurisdiction, without regard to any differences of race, of
color, or of nationality.”).
There is a distinction, however,
between the constitutional rights enjoyed by aliens who have
entered the United States and those who are outside of it. See
Zadvydas v. Davis, 533 U.S. 678, 693 (2001).
The decision to prevent aliens from entering the country is
a “fundamental sovereign attribute” realized through the
legislative and executive branches that is “largely immune from
judicial control.” Chi Thon Ngo v. I.N.S., 192 F.3d 390, 395 (3d
Cir. 1999), amended (Dec. 30, 1999) (quoting Shaughnessy v.
United States ex rel. Mezei, 345 U.S. 206, 210 (1953)).
classifications based on alien status are evaluated using
rational basis review. Mathews v. Diaz, 426 U.S. 67, 83 (1976)
(considering whether a law that made distinctions based on alien
status was “wholly irrational”); Ruiz-Diaz v. United States, 703
F.3d 483, 486–87 (9th Cir. 2012)(determining that a regulation
that treated immigrant religious workers differently than other
visa applicants would be evaluated using rational basis review);
Narenji v. Civiletti, 617 F.2d 745, 748 (D.C. Cir. 1979)
(upholding a regulation issued in response to the Iran hostage
crisis that required non-immigrant alien Iranian students to
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 10 of 21
provide information to Immigration and Naturalization Services
Rational basis review examines whether the “classification
at issue bears some fair relationship to a legitimate public
purpose.” Plyler, 457 U.S. at 216.
It is “not a license for
courts to judge the wisdom, fairness, or logic of legislative
choices.” Heller v. Doe by Doe, 509 U.S. 312, 319–20 (1993)
(quoting FCC v. Beach Communications, Inc., 508 U.S. 307, 313
Under rational basis review, a classification is
permissible “if there is any reasonably conceivable state of
facts that could provide a rational basis.” Id. (quoting Beach
Communications, 508 U.S. at 313).
Plaintiffs contend that the EO discriminates on the basis
of religion and was designed to exclude Muslims from the United
They further allege that it singles out citizens of
seven different countries.
At oral argument, plaintiffs relied
on “astonishing evidence of intent” from President Trump which,
in their view, demonstrates that EO was “substantially motivated
by improper animus.” See Hunter v. Underwood, 471 U.S. 222, 233
(1985) (holding that a provision in the Alabama Constitution
violated equal protection even through it was facially neutral
because it was motivated by animus).
Defendants responded that
the cases examining improper animus involve equal protection
claims against states, which may be reviewed with strict
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 11 of 21
scrutiny, while the federal government classification of nonresident aliens in this case is subject to rational basis
Because the EO involves federal government categorizations
with respect to non-resident aliens, rational basis review
According to the EO, its purpose is
to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of
available resources for the screening of foreign nationals,
and to ensure that adequate standards are established to
prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists . . . .
Exec. Order 13,769 § 3(c).
The EO specifically asserts that
permitting aliens from the countries identified in section
217(a) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. § 1187(a)(12), to enter “would be
detrimental to the United States.”
The order provides a
reasonably conceivable state of facts [which concerns
national security and] that could provide a rational basis
for the classification. Heller, 509 U.S. at 319–20.
Accordingly, this Court declines to encroach upon the “delicate
policy judgment” inherent in immigration decisions. Plyler, 457
U.S. at 225.
Establishment Clause claim
With respect to Count II, plaintiffs allege that the
Executive Order violates the Establishment Clause of the United
States Constitution. See U.S. Const. amend. I (“Congress shall
make no law respecting an establishment of religion . . . .”).
Specifically, plaintiffs claim that the EO disfavors Islam and
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 12 of 21
The Court concludes, however, that the
remaining plaintiffs lack standing to raise an Establishment
The purported harmful disparate treatment of those two
faiths arises from Section 5(b) of the EO in which the Secretary
of State is directed, upon reinstatement of USRAP, to
prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis
of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion
of the individual is a minority religion in the
individual’s country of nationality (emphasis added).
To have standing, plaintiffs must allege an injury in fact that
is “concrete and particularized”. Reddy v. Foster, Docket No.
16-1432, 2017 WL 104825, at *4 (1st Cir. Jan. 11, 2017) (quoting
Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, 134 S. Ct. 2334, 2341
Plaintiffs are not, however, refugees seeking admission to
the United States and consequently, any future implementation of
Section 5(b) would not personally affect them.
plaintiffs vigorously disagree with such a policy, that sincere
disagreement is insufficient injury to confer standing. See
Valley Forge Christian Coll. v. Ams. United for Separation of
Church & State, Inc., 454 U.S. 464, 485-86 (1982) (“They fail to
identify any personal injury suffered by them as a consequence
of the alleged constitutional error, other than the
psychological consequence presumably produced by observation of
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 13 of 21
conduct with which one disagrees.
That is not an injury
sufficient to confer standing under Art. III . . . .” (emphasis
Moreover, the language in Section 5 of the EO is neutral
with respect to religion.
Plaintiffs submit in their amended
complaint that Section 5 favors Muslims over Christians, in
violation of the Establishment Clause.
The provisions of
Section 5, however, could be invoked to give preferred refugee
status to a Muslim individual in a country that is predominately
Nothing in Section 5 compels a finding that
Christians are preferred to any other group.
Count III: Due Process claim
The power to admit or exclude aliens is a sovereign
prerogative” and aliens seeking admission to the United States
request a “privilege.” Landon v. Plasencia, 459 U.S. 21, 32
It is “beyond peradventure” that “unadmitted and non-
resident aliens” have no right to be admitted to the United
States. Adams v. Baker, 909 F.2d 643, 647 (1st Cir. 1990).
There is no constitutionally protected interest in either
obtaining or continuing to possess a visa.
The due process
guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment “attaches only when the
federal government seeks to deny a liberty or property
interest.” Knoetze v. U.S., Dep't of State, 634 F.2d 207, 211
(5th Cir. 1981).
A non-citizen has no “inherent property right
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 14 of 21
in an immigrant visa.” Azizi v. Thornburgh, 908 F.2d 1130, 1134
(2d Cir. 1990); see also Legal Assistance for Vietnamese Asylum
Seekers v. Dep't of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, 104 F.3d
1349, 1354 (D.C. Cir. 1997) (holding that aliens “may not assert
a Fifth Amendment right in challenging the procedures for
granting immigrant visas”); Knoetze, 634 F.2d at 212
(concluding that “revocation of an entry visa issued to an alien
already within our country has no effect upon the alien's
liberty or property interests”); De Avilia v. Civiletti, 643
F.2d 471, 477 (7th Cir. 1981) (determining there is “no vested
right in the issuance of a visa”).
Thus, because an alien does
not enjoy a property right in a visa, he has no due process
right that protects the manner in which a visa is revoked.
Conversely, because the Due Process Clause safeguards all
“persons” in the United States, once an alien is in this
country, that alien is entitled to Fifth Amendment protection.
Zadvydas, 533 U.S. at 693.
It is “well established” that aliens
have cognizable due process interests which must be protected in
deportation hearings. Demore v. Kim, 538 U.S. 510, 523 (2003)
(quoting Reno v. Flores, 507 U.S. 292, 306 (1993)).
minimum, before deportation, aliens are entitled to “notice of
the nature of the charges and a meaningful opportunity to be
heard.” Choeum v. I.N.S., 129 F.3d 29, 38 (1st Cir. 1997).
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 15 of 21
The plaintiffs who hold F-1 Visas, Ms. Renani and Ms.
Amirsardary (“the F-1 plaintiffs”), contend that the EO violates
their due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment
because it prevents individuals from the targeted countries from
coming into the United States without any procedural safeguards.
Moreover, they submit that they fear leaving the country because
of concerns about being unable to return.
that such fears are premature because neither of the F-1
plaintiffs has specific travel plans within the next month.
The F-1 plaintiffs have not demonstrated that they are
likely to succeed on the merits of their due process claim.
is not clear whether the F-1 visas of aliens in the United
States at the time of the EO have been revoked, although
defendants’ counsel stated at the hearing that he thought they
Assuming their visas have been revoked, the F-1
plaintiffs have no property or liberty interest in those visas
and thus no due process claim with respect to the supposed
revocation. Knoetze, 634 F.2d at 212.
Although the F-1 plaintiffs certainly would be protected by
the Due Process Clause in the Fifth Amendment if deportation
proceedings were initiated against them, Demore, 538 U.S. at
523, there is no indication that such proceedings are
Furthermore, while this Court is sympathetic to
the difficult personal circumstances in which these plaintiffs
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 16 of 21
find themselves, if they choose to leave the country, as nonresident aliens, they have no right to re-enter. Landon, 459
U.S. at 32.
In sum, because due process protections do not
apply to visas and the F-1 plaintiffs are not currently subject
to deportation proceedings, they have not demonstrated a
likelihood of success on the merits of a due process claim at
Administrative Procedure Act
The Court concludes that plaintiffs have not shown a
likelihood of success on the merits with respect to Count IV, in
which plaintiffs allege that the EO violates the Administrative
Procedure Act (“APA”), 5 U.S.C. § 706.
In Franklin v. Massachusetts, 505 U.S. 788, 800-01 (1992),
the United States Supreme Court concluded that the Presidency is
not an “agency” as defined in the APA, § 701(b)(1), and thus
actions by the President are not subject to the APA.
have interpreted Franklin to prohibit review under the APA of
actions by the President when he is exercising discretionary
authority. See, e.g., Detroit Int’l Bridge Co. v. Gov’t of
Canada, 189 F. Supp. 3d 85, 104 (D.D.C. 2016).
Here, Congress has granted the President authority to
suspend entry for any class of aliens if such entry would be
“detrimental to the interests of the United States.” 8 U.S.C.
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 17 of 21
Pursuant to, and without exceeding, that grant of
discretionary authority, the President issued EO 13,769 and
suspended entry of aliens from the seven subject countries.
President’s action is thus unreviewable under the APA. See
Detroit Int’l Bridge, 189 F. Supp. 3d at 104-05 (concluding that
the President’s decision to allow a permit for an international
bridge was not subject to the APA because he had the authority
to do so under the International Bridge Act of 1972, 33 U.S.C.
§ 535 et seq.).
Because the likelihood of success element is “essential” to
the issuance of an injunction, New Comm Wireless Servs., Inc. v.
SprintCom, Inc., 287 F.3d 1, 13-14 (1st Cir. 2002), the Court
will not continue to impose injunctive relief pursuant to Count
First Amendment claim
Finally, in Count V, Oxfam claims that the EO has violated
its First Amendment rights to freedom of speech, association and
petition by barring entry of aliens, including visa holders,
into the United States.
The United States Supreme Court, in Kleindienst v. Mandel,
408 U.S. 753, 764, 770 (1972), explained that a denial of a visa
to an alien could, under some circumstances, violate a United
States citizen’s First Amendment right “to receive information”.
The Court dismissed plaintiffs’ First Amendment claim, however,
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 18 of 21
because the Attorney General provided a “facially legitimate and
bona fide reason” for denying the alien’s visa request.
case, the Court continued, lower courts should not
look behind the exercise of that discretion, nor test it by
balancing its justification against the First Amendment
interests of those who seek personal communication with the
Id. at 770.
The First Circuit Court of Appeals (“First Circuit”) has
considered the bounds of Kleindienst on two occasions:
Allende v. Shultz, 845 F.2d 1111 (1st Cir. 1988), and in Adams
v. Baker, 909 F.2d 643 (1st Cir. 1990).
That Court concluded in
Allende that plaintiffs adequately raised a First Amendment
claim. 845 F.2d at 1116.
Conversely, in Adams, it held that
plaintiffs’ did not assert a valid First Amendment challenge.
909 F.2d at 649-50.
In both cases, however, the First Circuit
undertook an analysis to determine whether the conduct of the
individual who had been denied a visa fit within the statutory
authority relied upon for those denials.
Here, the President has exercised his broad authority under
8 U.S.C. § 1182(f) to suspend entry of certain aliens
purportedly in order to ensure that resources are available to
review screening procedures and that adequate standards are in
place to protect against terrorist attacks. Exec. Order 13,769
Such a justification is “facially legitimate and bona
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 19 of 21
fide” and therefore Oxfam’s First Amendment rights are not
implicated. See Kleindienst, 408 U.S. at 770 (concluding that
the First Amendment rights of American scholars and students
were not violated when a Belgian scholar whom they invited to
speak was denied entry into the United States).
Although at oral argument plaintiffs directed this Court to
American Academy of Religion v. Napolitano, 573 F.3d 115, 137
(2nd Cir. 2009), which held that a “well supported allegation of
bad faith” could render a decision not bona fide, that is not
the standard in the First Circuit.
Therefore, in light of the
“plenary congressional power to make policies and rules for
exclusion of aliens,” Kleindienst, 408 U.S. at 769, which
pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f), has been delegated to the
President, the Court concludes that the government’s reasons, as
provided in the EO, are facially legitimate and bona fide.
Consequently, Oxfam has not shown a likelihood of success
with respect to its claim in Count V. See Kleindienst, 408 U.S.
at 770; Adams, 909 F.2d at 650.
Other preliminary injunction factors
Moving on to the other three factors considered for a
temporary restraining order, Jean v. Mass. State Police, 492
F.3d 24, 26-27 (1st Cir. 2007), the potential for irreparable
harm weighs in favor of plaintiffs.
The harm of being forced to
choose between visiting loved ones, participating in a
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 20 of 21
prestigious doctoral program or founding a business, on the one
hand, and staying in this country out of fear of being denied
re-entry is painful to contemplate.
Oxfam faces some less life-
size challenges but they are important nevertheless.
There are considerations on both sides with respect to a
balancing of the hardships.
On the one hand, implementing an
effective immigration regime that ensures the safety of all
Americans is undoubtedly difficult.
On the other hand, the
hardship to the professional and personal lives of the
individual plaintiffs and to the operation of the Oxfam worldwide organization is palpable.
Finally, there are public interest considerations on both
The rich immigrant history of the United States has long
been a source of strength and pride in this country.
individual plaintiffs in this case provide particularly
compelling examples of the value that immigrants add to our
Conversely, the public interest in safety and security
in this ever-more dangerous world is strong as well.
When the four factors that the Court must consider before
imposing injunctive relief are considered collectively,
likelihood of success on the merits weighs most heavily in the
decision. Coquico, Inc. v. Rodriguez-Miranda, 562 F.3d 62, 66
(1st Cir. 2009).
Therefore, because plaintiffs have not
demonstrated that they are likely to succeed on the merits of
Case 1:17-cv-10154-NMG Document 69 Filed 02/03/17 Page 21 of 21
any of their claims, an extension of the restraining order at
the present time is not warranted.
For the forgoing reasons, the Court declines to impose any
injunctive relief and will not renew the temporary restraining
order that was entered on January 29, 2017 (Docket No. 6).
/s/ Nathaniel M. Gorton_____
Nathaniel M. Gorton
United States District Judge
Dated February 3, 2017
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?