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NOTICE OF PROPOSED CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT: Certain individuals who seek to file or have filed asylum applications will be entitled to new procedures for crediting time toward employment authorization eligibility

This Notice contains important information that may pertain to you. Please read it carefully. Under the Settlement Agreement in B.H., et al. v. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, et al., No. CV11-2108-RAJ (W.D. Wash.) (also referred to as “ABT Settlement Agreement”), 2 certain individuals who seek to file an asylum application or have already filed an asylum application, are entitled to new procedures relating to the crediting of time toward eligibility for employment authorization.

On December 15, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a class action complaint challenging the federal government’s practices with respect to Employment Authorization Documents (“EADs”) of applicants for asylum. Plaintiffs are all noncitizens in the United States who have been placed in removal proceedings, have filed complete Form I-589, Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal ( “asylum application”), and have filed or will file a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (“application for employment authorization”) pursuant to immigration regulations (8 C.F.R. § 274a.12(c)(8)). Defendants include the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (“EOIR”).

After lengthy settlement negotiations, on March 29, 2013, Plaintiffs and Defendants submitted a stipulated motion for a nationwide class certification and stipulated motion for Settlement Agreement. The general terms of those stipulated motions are laid out in the Notice.

On May 7, 2013, the Court granted the Parties’ Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement and Ordered a Fairness Hearing on September 20, 2013.  Any objections to the proposed settlement should be submitted to the Court within thirty (30) days of the date of this notice. The notice to the Clerk of the Court shall be sent to: Clerk, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, WA 98101, and both the envelope and the letter shall state “Attention: A.B.T. et al v. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, et al., No. CV11-2108-RAJ (W.D. Wash.).” Copies shall also be served on counsel for Plaintiffs and counsel for Defendants as set forth below:

 TO PLAINTIFFS:

 Matt Adams

NORTHWEST IMMIGRANT RIGHTS PROJECT

615 2nd Avenue, Suite 400

Seattle, WA 98104

 

TO DEFENDANTS:         

J. Max Weintraub

Senior Litigation Counsel

United States Department of Justice, Civil Division

Office of immigration Litigation – District Court Section

P.O. Box 868, Ben Franklin Station

Washington, DC 20044 

The complete Notice to Class, as well as the complete Settlement Agreement, including definitions of Class Members, exact terms of the relief, and the exact terms of any process available to seek review of an alleged violation of the Settlement Agreement including the Claim Form, which is Exhibit B to the Settlement Agreement, are provided on this page.

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1 The Corrected Class Notice contains an amended date for the Fairness Hearing.

2 The original caption for this action listed “A.B.T., K.M.-W., G.K., L.K.G., [and] D.W.” as the individual plaintiffs. This Notice will refer to this action as “ABT,” the Settlement Agreement in this action as “the  ABT Settlement Agreement,” claimants under the Agreement as “ABT claimants,” and the claim review process under the Agreement as the “Individual ABT Claim Review process.”  

Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/01/2013