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Class-wide injunction regarding detention process vacated

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//May 19, 2022

Class-wide injunction regarding detention process vacated

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//May 19, 2022//

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Where the district court issued a class-wide injunction regarding government procedures to detain aliens pending removal hearings, but the statute expressly precludes “jurisdiction or authority to enjoin or restrain” provisions of the immigration laws on a class-wide basis, that aspect of the court’s order was vacated.


8 U.S.C. § 1226(a) permits the Attorney General to detain aliens pending their removal hearings. And the Attorney General has adopted procedures for making that discretionary decision.

A district court determined that a class of aliens had a likelihood of establishing that those procedures violated the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. That court then issued a preliminary injunction ordering, on a class-wide basis, that to continue detaining an alien under § 1226(a), the government must prove by clear and convincing evidence that an alien is either a flight risk or a danger to the community. The district court also required immigration judges, again on a class-wide basis, to consider an alien’s ability to pay any bond imposed and consider alternatives to detention.


The government argues that because the individual plaintiffs failed to appeal their bond decisions to the Board, the district court lacked the authority to review the immigration judge’s detention decision. The government has not pointed this court to any other provision of the immigration laws where Congress clearly required exhaustion, and neither has the court found one. Therefore, no statute applicable to Miranda, Espinoza and Adegoke’s claims provides that administrative exhaustion is jurisdictional. Because the government did not adequately address the district court’s determination that administrative exhaustion was not required, the government waived this argument on appeal.

Next, the government argues that § 1226(e) strips the courts of jurisdiction to review discretionary detention decisions like those at issue here. This is a close question of statutory interpretation, and the Supreme Court decisions do not provide a clear answer. After reviewing the statute, the court rejects the government’s argument that it lacks jurisdiction to consider these claims.

Third, the government argues that 8 U.S.C. § 1252(f)(1) deprived the district court of jurisdiction to issue class-wide injunctive relief. The court finds that § 1252(f)(1) is a

jurisdictional limit on the courts. Section 1252(f)(1) expressly precludes “jurisdiction or authority to enjoin or restrain” provisions of the immigration laws, including § 1226(a), on a class-wide basis. Despite this provision, the district court imposed class-wide limitations on the discretionary detention decisions permitted under § 1226(a). Accordingly, that aspect of the district court’s order is vacated.

The district court’s order also granted Espinoza individual relief. The district court erred, however, because Espinoza did not show a likelihood of success on his claim that requiring an alien in a § 1226(a) bond hearing to show, by a preponderance of evidence, that he is not a danger to the community nor a flight risk violates an alien’s rights under the Due Process Clause.

Espinoza also failed to show a likelihood of success on his claim that due process requires immigration judges in § 1226(a) bond hearings to consider an alien’s ability to pay and alternative conditions on release. Without his alleged constitutional injury, Espinoza has failed to show that he will suffer irreparable harm. And the balance of the equities and public interest do not weigh in favor of the sea change in bond hearings that Espinoza desires.

Vacated and remanded.

Concurring/dissenting opinion:

Richardson, J., concurring in part, dissenting in part and concurring in the judgment:

Because § 1226(e) bars judicial review of any “discretionary judgment”—including those that apply to all detention decisions under § 1226(a) and those alleged to violate the Constitution—I disagree with my colleagues and would dismiss for a lack of jurisdiction on that basis. That disagreement does not preclude me from joining in striking down the class-wide injunction under § 1252(f)(1).

Concurring/dissenting opinion:

Urbanski, J., concurring in part, dissenting in part and dissenting from the judgment:

While the Supreme Court has not directly addressed this issue, the majority opinion concludes that § 1252(f)(1) precludes class-wide injunctive relief. But plaintiffs also sought class-wide declaratory relief, which was not addressed below, perhaps because the government failed to raise § 1252(f)(1) at the district court. As such, I would remand the case to the district court to allow it to address plaintiff’s request for class-wide declaratory relief, which is not barred by § 1252(f)(1). Further, in my view, the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment requires the government to bear the burden of proof in an immigration detention proceeding.

Miranda v. Garland, Case No. 20-1828, May 12, 2022. 4th Cir. (Quattlebaum), from DMD at Baltimore (Blake). Courtney Elizabeth Moran for Appellants. Carmen Gloria Iguina Gonzalez for Appellees. VLW 022-2-121. 73 pp.

VLW 022-2-121

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