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Immigration Law

EOIR Guidelines for Implementation of Mendez Rojas v. Wolf Settlement

EOIR, May 5, 2020

"On November 4, 2020, the district court for the Western District of Washington approved a settlement agreement in Mendez Rojas v. Wolf, No. 2:16-cv-01024-RSM (W.D. Wash. Nov. 4, 2020), 1 a class-action lawsuit pertaining to the one-year filing deadline for asylum applications. See Attachment A. The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reached this settlement agreement following negotiation with Plaintiffs.

The settlement agreement is effective nationwide. The settlement agreement requires, inter alia, that class members file notice of class membership and any accompanying documentation, as set forth in the settlement agreement, on or before March 31, 2022. An individual who establishes Mendez Rojas class membership shall be deemed to have timely filed an asylum application. The settlement agreement also provides for processes to effectuate class relief for individuals who have received a final order of removal or whose cases were administratively closed. Additionally, as part of the settlement, EOIR and DHS have implemented a uniform procedural mechanism by which all asylum applicants, regardless of Mendez Rojas class membership, can file a Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal.

This Policy Memorandum (PM) provides guidance to assist EOIR adjudicators and administrative staff in complying with the requirements of the settlement agreement.

1 On March 29, 2018, the district court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment in the case, then titled Mendez Rojas v. Johnson, 305 F. Supp. 3d 1176 (W.D. Wash. 2018). The parties thereafter entered into mediation to resolve the claims raised in the litigation."