February 12, 2020

Venable Secures Injunction Halting Arrest of Undocumented Immigrants at Green Card Marriage Interviews

2 min

Venable, in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maryland, secured a preliminary injunction in a class action lawsuit to end the Department of Homeland Security's practice of having Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrest undocumented immigrants at their green card marriage interviews.

On February 7, 2020, U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel ruled that while the lawsuit is pending, federal immigration officials cannot detain or deport members of the putative class consisting of immigrants in Maryland who have started the process of obtaining legal immigration status based on their marriage to a U.S. citizen. Judge Hazel found that the putative class is likely to establish that ICE's practice breaches federal regulations that provide a pathway for unauthorized immigrants facing final deportation orders to apply for U.S. permanent residency through an American spouse.

"They only seek access to a process that federal regulations have made available to them and with which the agency has not acted in accordance," Judge Hazel said.

The order also requires ICE agents to release anyone in the putative class that is currently being detained by immigration officials.

The Venable team includes Seth Rosenthal, Nathaniel Berry, and Katherine Sochacki.

The ruling was covered by Law360, The Hill, WUSA9, and the Associated Press.