Update:  On May 28, 2019, the district court denied Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction and granted the Defendants’ motion to dismiss. Plaintiffs’ then filed a motion to alter the judgement and leave to file an amended complaint, which was granted by the district court. Read the opinion here.

CREW sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for failing to create records linking immigrant children to their parents and failing to establish an adequate agency-wide records management program, in violation of the Federal Records Act.  

The Zero Tolerance Policy of immigration enforcement has shown DHS records management to be severely deficient. These record keeping failures have already had catastrophic consequences: DHS ripped thousands of children away from their parents, failed to make and preserve adequate documentation of individuals taken into its custody, and, consequently, has been unable to reunify each of the families it separated.

DHS also falsely represented its ability to track the thousands of parents and children harmed by its Zero Tolerance Policy. DHS employees reportedly raised concerns about the agency’s records management during the rollout of the policy, but political appointees simply ignored their concerns.

CREW also filed a complaint about the records with the National Archives and Records Administration, which resulted opened an investigation, and has filed several Freedom of Information Act requests to better understand the record keeping process at DHS, which have so far yielded no documents.


Lawsuit documents

  • October 26, 2018
  • December 14, 2018
  • Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction & Exhibits - March 8, 2019
  • Declarations of Bianca Aguilera, Katherine Russell, Jonathan Ryan, and Noah Bookbinder - March 8, 2019
  • Defendant's Memorandum in Opposition & Declaration of Paul Johnson - March 20, 2019
  • Reply in Support of Plaintiff's Preliminary Injunction Motion - March 29, 2019
  • Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter or Amend Judgement and For Leave to Amend & Second Amended Complaint - Jun. 14, 2019
  • June 28, 2019
  • Reply in Support of Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Judgement - July 19, 2019
  • Memorandum Granting Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter Judgement and For Leave to Amend - July 22, 2019
  • July 23, 2019
  • September 10, 2019
  • September 10, 2019
  • September 10, 2019
  • Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Second Amended Complaint - October 16, 2019
  • Defendant's Reply in Support of Defendant's Motion to Dismiss - November 13, 2019
  • November 20, 2019

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