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United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division
November 2, 2020, Decided; November 2, 2020, Filed
19 C 6334
[*1003] Memorandum Opinion and Order
Cook County and Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Inc. ("ICIRR") allege in this suit that the Department of Homeland Security's ("DHS") final rule, Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds, 84 Fed. Reg. 41,292 (Aug. 14, 2019) ("Final Rule" or "Rule"), is unlawful. Doc. 1. Plaintiffs claim that the Rule violates the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA"), 5 U.S.C. § 701 et seq., because (1) it exceeds DHS's authority under the public charge provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"), 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(4)(A); (2) is not in accordance [**7] with law; and (3) is arbitrary and capricious. Doc. 1 at ¶¶ 140-169. ICIRR also claims that the Rule violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause. Id. at ¶¶ 170-188.
On October 14, 2019, this court preliminarily enjoined DHS from enforcing the Final Rule in the State of Illinois, reasoning that the Rule likely violates the APA because it interprets the term "public charge" in a manner incompatible with its statutory meaning. Docs. 85, 87, 106 (reported at 417 F. Supp. 3d 1008 (N.D. Ill. 2019)). DHS appealed. The Seventh Circuit denied DHS's motion to stay the preliminary injunction pending appeal, No. 19-3169, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 39396 [*1004] (7th Cir. Dec. 23, 2019), but the Supreme Court issued a stay, 140 S. Ct. 681, 206 L. Ed. 2d 142 (2020) (mem.). Meanwhile, DHS moved to dismiss the suit under Civil Rules 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). Doc. 124. This court denied DHS's motion and granted ICIRR's request for extra-record discovery on its equal protection claim. Docs. 149-150 (reported at 461 F. Supp. 3d 779 (N.D. Ill. 2020)). And this court denied DHS's motion to certify under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) an interlocutory appeal of the denial of its motion to dismiss the equal protection claim. Docs. 183-184 (reported at 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123077, 2020 WL 3975466 (N.D. Ill. July 14, 2020)).
Shortly after this court denied DHS's motion to dismiss, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the preliminary injunction, reasoning that the Final Rule likely violates [**8] the APA. 962 F.3d 208 (7th Cir. 2020). Armed with the Seventh Circuit's decision, Plaintiffs move for summary judgment on their APA claims. Doc. 200. They seek a partial judgment under Civil Rule 54(b)—one that would vacate the Rule pursuant to the APA and allow continued litigation on ICIRR's equal protection claim. Docs. 217-218. Plaintiffs' motion is granted. A Rule 54(b) judgment is entered, the Final Rule is vacated, DHS's request to stay the judgment is denied, and ICIRR's equal protection claim may proceed in this court.
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498 F. Supp. 3d 999 *; 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203434 **; 2020 WL 6393005
COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, an Illinois governmental entity, and ILLINOIS COALITION FOR IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE RIGHTS, INC., Plaintiffs, vs. CHAD F. WOLF, in his official capacity as Acting Secretary of U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, a federal agency, KENNETH T. CUCCINELLI II, in his official capacity as Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, a federal agency, Defendants.
Subsequent History: Appeal dismissed by Cook Cty. v. Wolf, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 12567 (7th Cir. Ill., Mar. 9, 2021)
Prior History: Cook Cty. v. McAleenan, 417 F. Supp. 3d 1008, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177759, 2019 WL 5110267 (N.D. Ill., Oct. 14, 2019)
equal protection claim, vacate, final rule, preliminary injunction, injunction, vacatur, district court, public charge, agency's action, summary judgment, final judgment, pending appeal, immigrants, violates, merits, cases, arbitrary and capricious, discovery, quotation, invalid, overlap, partial, courts, marks