The ACLU of Massachusetts [advocacy website] filed a class action lawsuit [text, pdf] Tuesday against President Trump and other administration officials on behalf of a Rhode Island resident and Guatemalan native, along with six similarly-situated plaintiffs, in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts [official website].
The lead plaintiff, Lilian Calderon, a mother of two, had been taking the first steps to lawfully become a permanent resident when she was detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website]. After an ACLU lawsuit in February [text, pdf], she was released, but, this week’s suit contends, remains “subject to the threat of detention and removal despite her progress towards legalization.”
The lawsuit argues that ICE’s efforts to detain and remove the non-citizens in the suit violates the rights of all petitioners under the due process and equal protection guarantees of the US Constitution, the Immigration and Nationality Act and its regulations, and the Administrative Procedure Act [texts].
In 2016, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) [official website] enacted regulations [text] allowing non-citizen spouses of US citizens to remain in the United States with their families while they pursued lawful immigration statuses. Despite these regulations, ICE has “recently adopted a policy and practice of detaining and seeking to remove individuals who are pursuing this process,” according to an ACLU statement [press release].
National and regional chapters of the ACLU have filed a number of lawsuits against the Trump administration regarding its immigration policies and practices, including searches of devices at borders, and the unlawful detention of asylum seekers [JURIST reports].