Casa De Md. v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., No. 18-1521

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtDIAZ, Circuit Judge
Citation924 F.3d 684
Docket Number No. 18-1522,No. 18-1521
Decision Date17 May 2019
Parties CASA DE MARYLAND; Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA); Fair Immigration Movement (FIRM); One America; Promise Arizona; Make the Road Pennsylvania; Michigan United ; Arkansas United Community Coalition; Junta for Progressive Action, Inc. ; Angel Aguiluz; Estefany Rodriguez; Heymi Elvir Maldonado; Nathaly Uribe Robledo; Eliseo Mages; Jesus Eusebio Perez; Josue Aguiluz; Missael Garcia; Jose Aguiluz; Maricruz Abarca; Annabelle Martines Herra; Maria Joseline Cuellar Baldelomar; Brenda Moreno Martinez; Luis Aguilar; J.M.O., a minor child; Adriana Gonzales Magos, next of friend to J.M.O.; A.M., a minor child; Isabel Cristina Aguilar Arce, next of friend to A.M., Plaintiffs - Appellants, v. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States; William P. Barr, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States; Elaine C. Duke, in her official capacity as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security; L. Francis Cissna, in his official capacity as Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Ronald D. Vitiello, in his official capacity as Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Kevin K. McAleenan, in his official capacity in his official capacity as Acting Commissioner of Custom and Border Protection; United States of America, Defendants - Appellees. Casa De Maryland; Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA); Fair Immigration Movement (FIRM); One America; Promise Arizona; Make the Road Pennsylvania; Michigan United ; Arkansas United Community Coalition; Junta for Progressive Action, Inc. ; Angel Aguiluz; Estefany Rodriguez; Heymi Elvir Maldonado; Nathaly Uribe Robledo; Eliseo Mages; Jesus Eusebio Perez; Josue Aguiluz; Missael Garcia; Jose Aguiluz; Maricruz Abarca; Annabelle Martines Herra; Maria Joseline Cuellar Baldelomar; Brenda Moreno Martinez; Luis Aguilar; J.M.O., a minor child; Adriana Gonzales Magos, next of friend to J.M.O.; A.M., a minor child; Isabel Cristina Aguilar Arce, next of friend to A.M., Plaintiffs - Appellees, v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States; William P. Barr, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States; Elaine C. Duke, in her official capacity as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security; L. Francis Cissna, in his official capacity as Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Ronald D. Vitiello, in his official capacity as Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Kevin K. McAleenan, in his official capacity in his official capacity as Acting Commissioner of Custom and Border Protection; United States of America, Defendants - Appellants.

924 F.3d 684

CASA DE MARYLAND; Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA); Fair Immigration Movement (FIRM); One America; Promise Arizona; Make the Road Pennsylvania; Michigan United ; Arkansas United Community Coalition; Junta for Progressive Action, Inc. ; Angel Aguiluz; Estefany Rodriguez; Heymi Elvir Maldonado; Nathaly Uribe Robledo; Eliseo Mages; Jesus Eusebio Perez; Josue Aguiluz; Missael Garcia; Jose Aguiluz; Maricruz Abarca; Annabelle Martines Herra; Maria Joseline Cuellar Baldelomar; Brenda Moreno Martinez; Luis Aguilar; J.M.O., a minor child; Adriana Gonzales Magos, next of friend to J.M.O.; A.M., a minor child; Isabel Cristina Aguilar Arce, next of friend to A.M., Plaintiffs - Appellants,
v.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States; William P. Barr, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States; Elaine C. Duke, in her official capacity as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security; L. Francis Cissna, in his official capacity as Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Ronald D. Vitiello, in his official capacity as Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Kevin K. McAleenan, in his official capacity in his official capacity as Acting Commissioner of Custom and Border Protection; United States of America, Defendants - Appellees.


Casa De Maryland; Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA); Fair Immigration Movement (FIRM); One America; Promise Arizona; Make the Road Pennsylvania; Michigan United ; Arkansas United Community Coalition; Junta for Progressive Action, Inc. ; Angel Aguiluz; Estefany Rodriguez; Heymi Elvir Maldonado; Nathaly Uribe Robledo; Eliseo Mages; Jesus Eusebio Perez; Josue Aguiluz; Missael Garcia; Jose Aguiluz; Maricruz Abarca; Annabelle Martines Herra; Maria Joseline Cuellar Baldelomar; Brenda Moreno Martinez; Luis Aguilar; J.M.O., a minor child; Adriana Gonzales Magos, next of friend to J.M.O.; A.M., a minor child; Isabel Cristina Aguilar Arce, next of friend to A.M., Plaintiffs - Appellees,
v.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Customs and Border Protection; Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the United States; William P. Barr, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States; Elaine C. Duke, in her official capacity as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security; L. Francis Cissna, in his official capacity as Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Ronald D. Vitiello, in his official capacity as Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Kevin K. McAleenan, in his official capacity in his official capacity as Acting Commissioner of Custom and Border Protection; United States of America, Defendants - Appellants.

No. 18-1521
No. 18-1522

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit.

Argued: December 11, 2018
Decided: May 17, 2019


ARGUED: John A. Freedman, Emily Newhouse Dillingham, ARNOLD & PORTER KAYE SCHOLER LLP, Washington, D.C., for Appellants/Cross-Appellees. Hashim M. Mooppan, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Appellees/Cross-Appellants. ON BRIEF: Elizabeth J. Bower, Kevin B. Clark, Priya R. Aiyar, WILLKIE FARR & GALLAGHER LLP, Washington, D.C.; Dennis A. Corkery, WASHINGTON LAWYERS’ COMMITTEE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS AND URBAN AFFAIRS, Washington, D.C.; Ajmel A. Quereshi, HOWARD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, Washington, D.C., for Appellants/Cross-Appellees. Chad A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General, Mark B. Stern, Abby C. Wright, Thomas Pulham, Appellate Staff, Civil Division, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C.; Robert K. Hur, United States Attorney, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Baltimore, Maryland, for Appellees/Cross-Appellants.

Before KING, DIAZ, and RICHARDSON, Circuit Judges.

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, vacated in part, dismissed in part, and remanded by published opinion. Judge Diaz wrote the majority opinion, in which Judge King joined. Judge Richardson wrote an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

DIAZ, Circuit Judge:

In 2012, the Secretary of Homeland Security established the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals ("DACA") policy. Under this policy, certain noncitizens who came to the United States as children could receive deferred action—a decision forbearing their removal from the country. Hundreds of thousands of individuals, including

924 F.3d 691

those who appear as Plaintiffs in these appeals, applied for and received grants of deferred action under DACA.

In 2017, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security rescinded DACA, which prompted a flurry of lawsuits across the country challenging the action. Plaintiffs in these appeals (a group of individuals and organizations) allege that the government’s decision to rescind DACA (and its changes to policies governing the use of information provided by DACA applicants) violates the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA"), 5 U.S.C. § 500 et seq. , and common law principles of estoppel.

On the government’s motion for summary judgment, the district court determined that Plaintiffs’ challenges were subject to judicial review, that the rescission of DACA and changes to the government’s policies on use of DACA applicant information did not violate the APA, that the constitutional claims were without merit, and that DACA’s rescission did not violate principles of estoppel. The court, however, ordered the government (on grounds of estoppel) to comply with the policies promulgated in 2012 on the use of information provided by DACA applicants and enjoined it from altering these policies.

As we explain, we agree with the district court that Plaintiffs’ challenges are subject to judicial review. We also agree with the district court that the government’s decision to rescind DACA did not require notice and comment under the APA. But the decision nonetheless violated the APA because—on the administrative record before us—it was not adequately explained and thus was arbitrary and capricious. We also conclude that the district court erred in ordering the government to comply with its policies promulgated in 2012 on the use of information provided by DACA applicants and enjoining it from altering those policies.

Given our resolution, we decline, under the doctrine of constitutional avoidance, to decide whether Plaintiffs’ Fifth Amendment rights were violated. Nor do we address Plaintiffs’ remaining arguments challenging the district court’s grant of summary judgment.

I.

A.

Before turning to the record material, some context is in order. The Secretary of Homeland Security is "charged with the administration and enforcement" of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"). 8 U.S.C. § 1103(a)(1). One of the enforcement tools available under the INA is the removal of aliens from the United States. "Aliens may be removed if they were inadmissible at the time of entry, have been convicted of certain crimes, or meet other criteria set by federal law." Arizona v. United States , 567 U.S. 387, 396, 132 S.Ct. 2492, 183 L.Ed.2d 351 (2012) ; see 8 U.S.C. §§ 1182(a), 1227(a) (listing classes of deportable and inadmissible aliens).

Because of the "practical fact," however, that the government can’t possibly remove all such aliens, the Secretary has discretion to prioritize the removal of some and to deprioritize the removal of others. Arpaio v. Obama , 797 F.3d 11, 16 (D.C. Cir. 2015) ; see 6 U.S.C. § 202(5) (charging the Secretary of Homeland Security with "[e]stablishing national immigration enforcement policies and priorities"). One form of discretion the government exercises is deferred action, which "is a decision by Executive Branch officials not to pursue

924 F.3d 692

deportation proceedings against an individual or class of individuals otherwise eligible for removal from this country." Regents of the Univ. of Cal. v. DHS , 908 F.3d 476, 487 (9th Cir. 2018), petition for cert. filed , 87 U.S.L.W. 3201 (U.S. Nov. 5 & 19, 2018) (No. 18-587).

Immigration authorities have granted deferred action and related forms of relief from deportation or removal since at least the early 1960s. See id. at 487-89 ; The Department of Homeland Security’s Authority to Prioritize Removal of Certain Aliens Unlawfully Present in the United States and to Defer Removal of Others, 38 Op. O.L.C. ––––, 2014 WL 10788677, at *10-13 (Nov. 19, 2014) ("2014 OLC Opinion")1 (addressing the Department’s practices of granting deferred action ad hoc and through broad policies making relief from removal available to particular groups of aliens). The Supreme Court also has recognized deferred action by name, describing it as the executive branch’s "regular practice ... of exercising ... discretion for humanitarian reasons or simply for its own convenience." Reno v. Am.-Arab Anti-Discrimination Comm. ("AAADC "), 525 U.S. 471, 484, 119 S.Ct. 936, 142 L.Ed.2d 940 (1999).

B.

Turning now to the record material, the essential undisputed facts are as follows. To ensure government resources were not spent on the "low priority cases" of "certain young people...

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23 practice notes
  • New Mexico v. McAleenan, No. CIV 19-0534 JB\SCY
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • March 31, 2020
    ...broad or general enforcement based on a legal interpretation. See Response at 26 (citing Casa de Md. v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., 924 F.3d 684, 699 (4th Cir. 2019) ). The Defendants’ "utter silence," New Mexico and Albuquerque argue, favor such a finding. Response at 26 (citing FCC v. Fo......
  • Dep't of Homeland Sec. v. Regents of the Univ. of Cal., No. 18-587
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 18, 2020
    ...and vacated Acting Secretary Duke's rescission as arbitrary and capricious. Casa de Maryland v. United States Dept. of Homeland Security , 924 F.3d 684 (2019), cert. pending, No. 18–1469. The Fourth Circuit has since stayed its mandate.3 Justice KAVANAUGH further argues that the contemporan......
  • Casa De Md., Inc. v. Trump, Case No.: PWG-19-2715
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • October 14, 2019
    ...Fifth Amendment. 284 F. Supp. 3d 758, 771 (D. Md. 2018) aff'd in part, vacated in part on other grounds, rev'd in part on other grounds , 924 F.3d 684 (4th Cir. 2019).4 In finding that CASA had organizational standing, the court noted, "Casa De Maryland ... [is] ... directly focused on aidi......
  • Deese v. Esper, Civil Action No. RDB-18-2669
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • September 2, 2020
    ...Defendants must overcome "a strong presumption in favor of judicial review of agency action." Casa de Md. v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec. , 924 F.3d 684, 697 (4th Cir. 2019) (citing Speed Mining, Inc. v. Fed. Mine Safety & Health Review Comm'n , 528 F.3d 310, 316 (4th Cir. 2008) ). Only in c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
23 cases
  • New Mexico v. McAleenan, No. CIV 19-0534 JB\SCY
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of New Mexico
    • March 31, 2020
    ...broad or general enforcement based on a legal interpretation. See Response at 26 (citing Casa de Md. v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec., 924 F.3d 684, 699 (4th Cir. 2019) ). The Defendants’ "utter silence," New Mexico and Albuquerque argue, favor such a finding. Response at 26 (citing FCC v. Fo......
  • Dep't of Homeland Sec. v. Regents of the Univ. of Cal., No. 18-587
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 18, 2020
    ...and vacated Acting Secretary Duke's rescission as arbitrary and capricious. Casa de Maryland v. United States Dept. of Homeland Security , 924 F.3d 684 (2019), cert. pending, No. 18–1469. The Fourth Circuit has since stayed its mandate.3 Justice KAVANAUGH further argues that the contemporan......
  • Casa De Md., Inc. v. Trump, Case No.: PWG-19-2715
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • October 14, 2019
    ...Fifth Amendment. 284 F. Supp. 3d 758, 771 (D. Md. 2018) aff'd in part, vacated in part on other grounds, rev'd in part on other grounds , 924 F.3d 684 (4th Cir. 2019).4 In finding that CASA had organizational standing, the court noted, "Casa De Maryland ... [is] ... directly focused on aidi......
  • Deese v. Esper, Civil Action No. RDB-18-2669
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court (Maryland)
    • September 2, 2020
    ...Defendants must overcome "a strong presumption in favor of judicial review of agency action." Casa de Md. v. U.S. Dep't of Homeland Sec. , 924 F.3d 684, 697 (4th Cir. 2019) (citing Speed Mining, Inc. v. Fed. Mine Safety & Health Review Comm'n , 528 F.3d 310, 316 (4th Cir. 2008) ). Only in c......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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