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MI AG Nessel Joins Multi-State Efforts

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel joined Attorneys General from across the country in the following actions:


Due to grave concerns over the conditions in which children are kept in immigration custody, Nessel partnered with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in joining a lawsuit on Aug. 26, 2019 with 18 other states and the District of Columbia challenging the federal government’s final rule which bypasses the Flores Settlement Agreement. 

This rule interferes with the states’ ability to help ensure the health, safety and welfare of children by undermining state licensing requirements for facilities where children are held and can also result in prolonged detention, negative health consequences, and increased trauma for the children in custody and their families.

“I am happy to partner with Gov. Whitmer in pursuing this matter,” said Nessel. “We should be a nation eager to provide care and accommodations – even in immigration custody -- that are safe, sanitary and conducive to the age and needs of all children, regardless of the circumstances that brought them here.”

A copy of the complaint is available here.


On Sept. 4, 2019, Nessel joined 18 other Attorneys General in filing a brief in Padilla v. U.S. ICE supporting the idea that a person detained in this country who has made a credible showing of fear of persecution if returned to their country of origin should not be indefinitely detained under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

In their brief, the Attorneys General address “the critical role of immigrants in state economies, the additional burdens placed on state social service agencies in addressing the needs of asylees traumatized by prolonged detention, and the broader harms to our communities caused by the Administration’s anti-immigrant agenda.”

“Indefinite detainment would do nothing but traumatize these individuals desperately looking for a better life,” said Nessel. “Based on the Trump Administration’s new policy, detainees sent to Michigan would not be eligible for bond while they wait for four immigration judges in our state to get through a docket of more than 5,000 cases.”

A copy of the brief is available here.


Nessel joined 17 other Attorneys General on Sept. 23, 2019 in opposing a rule that would expand the use of expedited removal, allowing federal officials to deport undocumented immigrants from anywhere in the country under a fast-tracked process that generally does not allow for access to legal representation and due process.  

This rule will increase the number of erroneous deportations which may have dire consequences for those subject to this less protective process.

“More than 650,000 immigrants call Michigan home and as Attorney General, I swore to protect and serve each of them,” said Nessel. “I cannot and will not stand idly by while the due process protections afforded to individuals in normal removal proceedings are stripped away.”

A copy of the comment letter is available here.


On Sept. 27, 2019, Nessel joined a bi-partisan group of 21 states in filing a brief supporting a petition for certiorari (a higher court’s review of a lower court’s decision) in California Trout v. Hoopa Valley Tribe within the U.S. Supreme Court.  

The case seeks review of a D.C. Circuit Court decision limiting individual states’ ability to ensure their water quality standards are applied to projects needing federal licenses and permits. In the brief, the coalition argues that this decision will severely limit the states’ ability to effectively participate in the 401 certification process -- a process authorized by section 401 of the Clean Water Act.

“It is critical that states retain the right to protect their water resources and not leave that job to the federal government, particularly under this administration,” said Nessel.

A copy of the brief is available here.