News & Resources

Abdi v. Wolf: Securing fair opportunity for freedom for incarcerated asylum seekers

In August 2017, we filed a class action challenge to the incarceration of asylum seekers at the Batavia immigration facility in New York. The government had unfairly continued to incarcerate class members who, after seeking asylum at the border, had established that they have a significant likelihood of success on their asylum claims.

The case alleges that the government is required to give asylum seekers a fair opportunity to be released on parole and/or bond pending their asylum cases.

The court ruled in favor of the asylum seekers in November 2017, issuing a preliminary injunction requiring the government to follow its own procedures in granting access to parole. Although the court initially also required bond hearings after 6 months of incarceration, this ruling was vacated in September 2019 following the Supreme Court decision in Jennings v. Rodriguez, 138 S. Ct. 830 (2018).

The New York Civil Liberties Union and Sidley Austin LLP are co-counsel in this litigation.

Follow the Case

  • August 21, 2017 First amended complaint

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  • August 25, 2017 Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification

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  • September 12, 2017 Defendants’ motion to dismiss

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  • September 25, 2017 Plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction

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  • October 4, 2017 Plaintiffs’ opposition to motion to dismiss

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  • October 11, 2017 Defendants’ reply in support of motion to dismiss

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  • October 20, 2017 Defendants’ opposition to preliminary injunction

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  • October 26, 2017 Plaintiffs’ reply in support of preliminary injunction

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  • November 13, 2017 Defendants’ opposition to class certification

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  • November 17, 2017 Order granting preliminary injunction and denying motion to dismiss

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  • December 19, 2017 Order granting class certification

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  • January 8, 2018 Plaintiffs’ motion to consider ability to pay and alternatives to money bond at bond hearings

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  • January 22, 2018 Defendants’ opposition to motion to consider ability to pay and alternatives to money bond at bond hearings

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  • January 25, 2018 Plaintiffs’ reply in support of motion to consider ability to pay and alternatives to money bond at bond hearings

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  • February 9, 2018 Decision granting motion to consider ability to pay and alternatives to money bond at bond hearings

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  • October 31, 2018 Defendants’ motion to vacate the bond injunction

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  • November 17, 2017 Plaintiffs’ reply in support of class certification

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  • December 7, 2018 Plaintiffs’ opposition to motion to vacate

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  • December 7, 2018 Data declaration in support of opposition to motion to vacate

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  • December 7, 2018 Former immigration judge declaration in support of opposition to motion to vacate

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  • December 7, 2018 Dr. Allen Keller declaration in support of opposition to motion to vacate

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  • December 13, 2018 Defendants’ motion to decertify bond class

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  • March 1, 2019 Plaintiffs’ opposition to motion to decertify bond class

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  • March 22, 2019 Defendants’ reply in support of motion to decertify bond class

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  • September 24, 2019 Order granting motion to decertify bond class

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  • Court docket available here

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  • Press Release: Federal Court Orders Immigration Judges to Consider Asylum Seekers’ Ability to Pay When Setting Bond

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  • Press Release: Court Orders Federal Immigration Jail in Buffalo to Offer Parole, Bond Hearings for Asylum-Seekers

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