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Does USCIS Discriminate Based on Country of Origin?

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Does USCIS differentiate by nation of origin? Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer, practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. Today's question comes from Patrick and he asks a very important question. He says, "Officially or unofficially, does USCIS differentiate or discriminate against people from certain countries of origin?" In other words, people that are applying for an immigration benefit, does USCIS have stereotypes or discriminate against people from certain countries in my experience? So I'd love the tackle this issue.

Now of course they do. Of course USCIS differentiates between people from predominantly white countries versus people from predominantly brown countries. There's just no way of getting around it. It's not the nicest thing in the world to say, but USCIS treats white people better than it treats not white people. I'm not proud of that fact, but it is a fact and of course I'm happy for my white clients when they get an immigration benefit quickly, but I want everyone to get that immigration benefit quickly. I don't want anyone having to wait around because of USCIS.

Now, some of the ways that we see this manifest itself, I tell people all the time, and I say this as a Muslim, my hardest thing to do is to bring a Muslim man or an Arab man from a predominantly Muslim country to the United States. There's no doubt that USCIS and the state department hold Arab men to a higher standard and men from Pakistan and other predominantly Muslim countries. There's no doubt that these cases take longer, that there are more delays, that there are more BS denials, and more BS delays, and more BS requests for evidence that we see in these cases than we do for white people.

Similarly, marriage cases from Nigeria, we see a lot of Nigerian men being held to a higher standard and you could go country by country, but there's little different stereotypes or difficulties based on country of origin. Of course, the biggest one that we're dealing with right now is the embassy in Morocco. The embassy in Morocco is refusing to issue Visas up until and unless they are sued. So we're seeing all kinds of people experiencing delays of two times, three times or four times as long as people from other countries just because the spouse beneficiary is from Morocco or the fiance.

So yes Patrick, sadly our country does, in some ways official with the CARRP Program in some ways unofficial with the way that they handle cases from certain countries for certain people. We definitely do distinguish and discriminate against people from foreign countries and I'm glad that I had the opportunity to set the record straight on this because based on what I'm seeing things are definitely treated differently and they teach you this phrase in law school called arbitrary and capricious. That the law is not supposed to be arbitrary and capricious, which means that the law is supposed to be applied uniformly and fairly and we're definitely not seeing that at USCIS and we're definitely not seeing that at the state department.

So we hope this explains some things. If you feel like your case is being discriminated against, you might want to give us a call at (314) 961-8200. A lot of times we can help you sort out what's going on with your case. We can always sue them if the delay's untoward or until too long, and we love doing that. You can also find us on our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home, and if you like this video please be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and share this message out on social media for us. That'd be great. You can always reach us at (314) 961-8200. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

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