Tag: immigration delay

Lawsuit Nets Green Card for Chinese National after 2 Year Delay

The Hacking Law Practice, LLC, a national immigration law firm based in St. Louis, Missouri, recently filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Washington, D.C.  The lawsuit sought a judicial order compelling USCIS to decide a long-pending I-130 spouse petition and the accompanying I-485 adjustment of status application.

Our clients are a husband and wife from New York City.  The wife is a Chinese foreign national.

The couple applied for adjustment of status for the wife back in April of 2016.  The New York field office had been playing games with their case for months and months.

First, USCIS issued a request for evidence.  Then they delayed the adjustment of status interview for months and months.  The immigration agency then issued a second request for evidence.

The couple repeatedly and consistently contacted USCIS trying to get their case moving.  They could never get any answers at their InfoPass appointments.

In fact, USCIS tried to deny the case, but they never sent the denial notice and then tried to send a back-dated denial notice.  The agency really did a horrible job of processing the case and kept making mistake after mistake.

The couple went to the New York field office and requested that the case be reopened.  They pointed to the fact that the agency had never actually sent them the denial notice.

The case was reopened.  However, USCIS then quickly turned around and denied the case again.

The couple returned to the field office and highlighted all of the problems that the office had caused and met with a supervisor.  USCIS decided to reopen the case once again.

And then nothing happened.  Nothing.

The case dragged on for months and months.

The husband and wife found our law firm on the web.  They heard about how we like to sue USCIS and related agencies for delays in the processing of citizenship, adjustment, asylum and visa cases.

Firm attorney Jim Hacking met with the couple over Skype and they decided to hire us to sue USCIS.

We filed suit on June 27, 2017 in federal court.  We then served copies of the lawsuit on each of the defendants by certified mail.

Things then began to move quickly.  We first received an approval notice and then late this week, the couple received their long delayed green card in the mail.

The best part is that because the couple had been married so long before the green card was approved, they received a 10-year green card.

Happy to have been able to help this very nice couple.

Widow Files Lawsuit Over Pending Immigration Petition

 

Jun Cui Seman, a widow of an American citizen, has filed a suit against multiple U.S. government officials because she has waited over three years for USCIS to issue a decision in her pending immigration petition.

Seman has a pending I-360 petition as the widow of a United States citizen and an I-485 petition for adjustment of status.  When her husband of two years, Enrique Seman, died in 2014, she filed her petition.

The suit was filed in the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands (NMI) on Thursday, August 17.  Seman would like the federal court to order USCIS to issue a decision in her petition.

Seman had an adjustment-of-status interview on August 18, 2014, and has not received a decision in the three years since.  USCIS never issued a request for additional information. Under the Administrative Procedures Act, applicants for immigration benefits can file suit against the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to compel action on the agency’s behalf when the delay has been unreasonable.

The lawsuit was filed against multiple government officials, including USCIS acting Director James McCament, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Seman’s argues that there is not an administrative mechanism to address unreasonable delays in USCIS decision-making for an I-360 petition or I-485 application.  When Seman tried to find answers regarding the delay in decision-making, she was simply told that her file was pending with the USCIS office in Guam.  According to Mok, Seman is in no way at fault for the delay.

Normally, an I-360 interview decision is made within two to three weeks if no further information is requested.  By taking over three years to make a decision, the USCIS has caused Seman unnecessary anxiety and stress, putting her in “administrative limbo.”  The lawsuit also says Seman is in danger of removal by ICE since she does not have legal status.

For more information, click here.

 

Does Mandamus Only Work in Delayed Citizenship Cases?

Do mandamus lost its only work and citizenship cases?

Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis Missouri. We’ve had a lot of success in suing the federal government, USCIS, and the Department of Homeland Security when our clients’ naturalization cases have taken too long.

The law says that if you’ve had your naturalization interview and 120 days have gone by, that you can go into federal court and ask a federal judge who doesn’t work for the immigration service to order the immigration service to decide your case, or the judge can decide on his or her own initiative whether or not you get to become a citizen.

The immigration service doesn’t like it when you sue them and they don’t like the idea that a federal judge will take their job from them. When you file a lawsuit, typically what happens in most cases is, they decide to decide the case. The case gets moving and cases that have been waiting for two, three, or four years can finally get resolved. That law, regarding the 120 days, is pretty black letter and the immigration service doesn’t have a lot of wiggle room. One of the tricks they try is they don’t schedule the interview right away.

Sometimes we’re filing lawsuits for naturalization applicants who have never had their interview because that doesn’t start that 120 day clock and that’s why they do it. We have had success in getting those cases moving. They’re not as highly successful as the ones where there’s been an actual interview, but we’ve probably filed suit on behalf of about 70 people who’ve been waiting for citizenship and the lawsuits generally work. They don’t work in every case, but they work in most cases. We wondered whether or not we’d be able to file these kinds of lawsuits and other cases in the immigration context, cases in which the naturalization was not an issue, but rather someone could get a green card.

One day a young man came to see me and he had filed his own mandamus against the immigration service because his green card case had been pending too long. They hadn’t scheduled him for an interview and his case had been pending for two years. He and his wife were getting frustrated that every time they went down to the immigration office that they couldn’t get any answers. He figured out how to draft a lawsuit and filed it on his own in federal court. We don’t recommend this.

Filing a mandamus action is actually pretty tricky, and the government was starting to play games with him, trying to change venue and filing a motion to dismiss and all these things. We wanted to see what would happen and we took this case. It turns out that the lawsuit worked almost the exact same way in the green card context as it did in the citizenship context. Since that time, we’ve probably filed 10 green card delay lawsuits and we’ve had a lot of good success with that.

Then one day a lady came to see me and she was wondering about her husband’s visa case. He was from Pakistan and his case had been pending for two years. We told her that she should sue them. She was sort of skittish and worried about suing them, so she didn’t do it. A year later she came back and now she’d been waiting three years. We told her, “You should sue the state department”. We had done some research and figured out that you could, in fact, sue the state department in federal court in the United States for a delay at an embassy overseas.

She was still skittish and still scared, so she decided not to do it. The fourth year she came back and she said, “Okay Jim, let’s go ahead and sue”. We filed the lawsuit and within 90 days after filing the lawsuit, her husband was in the United States with an approved visa. This was remarkable and it only happened because we filed the lawsuit. Now we know, and we have filed subsequently more lawsuits against the state department for delays in the issuance of a visa.

Last month, we filed a lawsuit over a four year delay on an asylum case. We’re very interested to see how this case works. It’s a lawsuit against a Chicago asylum office where a man has been waiting for four years for his asylum case to be approved. These are the kinds of things that you can do with a mandamus lawsuit. Not every immigration lawyer is familiar with the rules of federal court and filing lawsuits. I had been a litigator for 10 years before I started practicing immigration law, so I feel very comfortable in federal court, in the procedures, and the filing requirements, all those things.

We’re going to file a new lawsuit today over in Ohio. We’re excited about that, for a young man who’s been waiting for citizenship for two and a half years. These lawsuits work. They don’t work every time, but they work in a lot of the situations.

If you’ve been experiencing some kind of immigration delay, make sure to give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can also e-mail us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. We hope you like this video, that you found it instructive.

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