Dear Karen,

As is typical, as the weather has gotten colder, action in the federal courts has heated up; see below for the latest in one case we’re tracking and one case we’re litigating. And as always, you can check our microsite for the latest updates on extremist litigation challenging immigrant inclusive policies.   

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November 9, 2023

Judge temporarily protects Texas’s razor wire fencing from cutting by Border Patrol  

Texas’s suit to block Border Patrol from cutting its razor wire fencing along the southern border (that we recently reported) is moving fast: on October 30, Judge Moses granted Texas’s “emergency” motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO), blocking Border Patrol from cutting the razor wire for November 13 (by rule, the TRO could not exceed 14 days). The one exception in the TRO permits Border Patrol to move or cut the razor wire fencing to aid individuals in the event of medical emergencies. Since the TRO was issued, the parties have briefed Texas’s request for a preliminary injunction that would block Border Patrol from cutting its razor wire while this case proceeds to final judgment (unlike TROs, a preliminary injunction can last as long as the case does, and it can be made permanent at final judgment).  Judge Moses held a hearing on the preliminary injunction motion on Tuesday of this week and is likely to issue a decision very soon. 

Unaccompanied migrant children previously in Remain in Mexico (aka MPP) with their families finally have their day in court 

Meanwhile earlier this week in Los Angeles, legal service providers Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef), Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), The Door, and the ABA’s South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR)—represented by counsel at Justice Action Center, ImmDef, and Simpson Thacher and Barlett LLP—finally got their day in court almost a year after the judge ordered a bench trial in the case. These plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in 2021 against the Trump administration for violating the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act with regards to unaccompanied children who were previously subjected to Remain in Mexico (RMX, also known as MPP) with their family (but then subsequently came to the United States unaccompanied). Unfortunately, the Biden administration has continued Trump’s policy of deporting these unaccompanied kids on removal orders issued in RMX, from before the kids were unaccompanied.  

At the one-day trial, the parties’ attorneys gave arguments and witnesses from RAICES and ImmDef testified about their experiences representing unaccompanied children who had previously been in RMX, including the profound and devastating impact the federal government’s policy has had on their organizations and their child clients. Post-trial briefing on liability will conclude in late January; if Judge Olguin agrees with Plaintiffs on at least one of their legal claims, the parties will then brief the appropriate remedy he should order. 

As always, we’ll keep you posted on these and other cases.

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Thanks for reading,

Joan Agoh

Communications Coordinator

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