Al Otro Lado, et al. v. John Kelly, et al.

Al Otro Lado, et al. v. John Kelly, et al., Case No. 2:170cv05111 (C. D. Cal. filed July 12, 2017)

On July 12, 2017, the American Immigration Council, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights and Latham and Watkins, LLP, filed a class action lawsuit challenging Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) unlawful practice of turning away asylum seekers who present themselves at ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The plaintiffs in the case are Al Otro Lado, a non-profit legal services organization that serves indigent deportees, migrants and refugees in Los Angeles and Tijuana, along with six courageous asylum seekers who experienced CBP’s unlawful conduct firsthand.  Their experiences demonstrate that CBP uses a variety of tactics – including misrepresentation, threats and intimidation, verbal abuse and physical force, and coercion – to deny bona fide asylum seekers the opportunity to pursue their claims.  The Complaint alleges that the government’s refusal to allow asylum seekers to pursue their claims violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment, and the doctrine of non-refoulement under international law.

On November 13, 2017, Plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification, which included dozens of declarations from individuals turned away at the border by CBP. On November 28, 2017, the Court granted Defendants’ motion to transfer venue to the Southern District of California and dismissed all pending motions without prejudice. On December 15, 2017, Defendants again filed their motion to dismiss. That motion is now pending.

Counsel: Latham & Watkins LLP | American Immigration Council | Center for Constitutional Rights

Contact: Manuel A. Abascal | Latham & Watkins LLP | | 213-485-1234