IMMpact Litigation was formed in response to an urgent need to address major concerns in immigration policy and procedure at a broad level. We are a group of independent firms working collectively to change the future of immigration. We focus on Federal District Court and Circuit Courts of Appeal cases in mass- and class-action suits involving hundreds of plaintiffs from across the globe.
Successful litigation can lead to changes in policy that benefit all immigrants and their families, but it also requires a considerable amount of time and resources that most small law firms simply don’t have to spare. IMMpact Litigation was created by a dedicated group of prominent immigration lawyers who recognized the need to work collaboratively to take on important cases that other firms couldn’t handle.
After decades of working closely as colleagues and building deep trust and mutual respect, a new working relationship was formed through IMMpact Litigation, allowing us to divide the tasks of large-scale litigation among numerous staff. Combining resources also led to the creation of more efficient processes, like using customized technology to onboard new plaintiffs and keep them informed throughout their case.
Our leadership team consists of:
Our firms and attorneys have been working together on impactful litigation for many years, but it was in 2020 that the real power of our combined efforts began to take shape. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, several actions were taken by government agencies and officials that resulted in devastating harm to thousands of immigrants and their families, and we felt compelled to act.
In April and June of 2020, two Presidential Proclamations were issued which essentially stopped legal immigrants from entering the U.S. due to the pandemic. During this time, the State Department also ceased processing immigrant visas. In response, our attorneys along with other firms filed a series of lawsuits challenging these processing delays. In Aker v. Trump, we argued that the stop in processing was causing undue harm to winners of the 2020 diversity visa lottery (DV-2020), whose eligibility to receive a visa was set to expire on September 30, 2020. A U.S. District Judge agreed and ordered the State Department to “undertake good-faith efforts” to process and adjudicate the visa applications before the deadline and ordered the government to set aside over 9,000 visas to be available to the DV-2020 winners after the deadline. Although the travel bans were eventually allowed to expire, we continued to fight for the diversity visa applicants to have their visas processed and issued through additional appeals and court actions.
Despite the court’s ruling in Aker v. Trump for DV-2020 winners, the State Department decided not to process visa applications for the winners of the 2021 diversity visa lottery (DV-2021). In the face of such obstinance from the State Department, we brought litigation in Goh v. Blinken on behalf of DV-2021 plaintiffs that ultimately resulted in a court order finding the State Department’s policies unlawful and ordering the government to expeditiously process DV-2021 applications prior to the September 30, 2021 deadline. In addition, due to the government’s unlawful actions, the court again reserved the extraordinary remedy of potentially reserving additional DV-2021 visas beyond the end of the fiscal year. On September 30, Judge Mehta ordered the Department of State to reserve 481 visas specifically for Goh plaintiffs beyond the fiscal year deadline.
In a similar collaboration, we successfully represented more than 150 fiancé visa applicants and their U.S. citizen partners whose K-1 visa applications were unnecessarily delayed by the State Department’s actions. In September 2020, the lawyers of IMMpact Litigation filed suit against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the State Department, alleging again that the travel ban did not justify a stop in processing applications. In November 2020 a federal judge agreed and declared that the government was wrong to stop processing K-1 visas. Our efforts brought relief and hope to the couples involved in the suit, as well as many other visa applicants whose lives were being unfairly put on hold by the government’s interpretation of the travel ban.
These early successes reinforced our belief in the power of impact litigation and encouraged us to pursue new cases and take on additional lawsuits.
Immigration, and how it should be regulated and handled in the U.S., has been the subject of political debate for decades. While it is true that some policies enacted during recent administrations have complicated or interfered with legal immigration more than others, the reality is that immigrants, their families, and employers all need strong legal advocates no matter who is currently in charge.
Litigation, especially broad litigation involving many plaintiffs, is one of the most influential tools we have for calling attention to widespread injustices and compelling those in power to respond. Our work may receive more attention at certain times than others, but we are committed to improving the outcomes for immigrants every day, regardless of whether it makes front-page news or not.
The IMMpact team of lawyers has been playing a pioneering role in how mass litigation is managed and not just in the immigration space. We’re deploying cutting-edge artificial intelligence tools to quickly onboard plaintiffs and speed up communications with hundreds of plaintiffs on each of our cases. We’re also using social media like live YouTube and Facebook programming to regularly update our plaintiffs on our cases and answer plaintiffs’ questions.
To view the cases we are currently working on or to learn more about participating as a named plaintiff, please visit our onboarding page.