Economic value assessment of immigration documents

Stout was asked to perform an economic value assessment of immigration documents in a class action suit against the United States government. The plaintiff class was comprised on non-citizen survivors of serious criminal offenses, many of which were victims of domestic violence. They cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of their perpetrators’ crimes against them, and suffered substantial physical and emotional harm, making them eligible for “U Non-immigrant” status. The plaintiffs each submitted applications for U Non-immigrant status and employment authorization documents (“EADs”). However, at the time of Stout’s involvement, the applications for EADs had been pending for more than 90 days, and contrary to statutory and regulatory requirements, the plaintiffs had to yet received their EADs or interim EADs. The defendants’ failure to issue EADs left the plaintiffs in a perilous situation, unable to work legally and at risk of being unable to support themselves and their families. The analysis by Stout showed that the financial distress resulting from the withholding of EADs led to approximately 85% of the plaintiff class living below the 2015 Poverty Guideline. Based on the methodology outlined in Stout’s report, the present value of future irreparable harm was over $1.5 million for the plaintiff class. Earlier this year, 38 of the 39 plaintiffs were issued EADs.

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