What is one unexpected side benefit to suing the Immigration Service and the State Department? Hi. I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. I was speaking with a client the other day and she had a tricky situation that I’m going to tell you about, but it highlighted for me one of the unexpected side benefits of filing a lawsuit against USCIS and the State Department. It was something that was staring me right in the face. I’ve always known it, but I had never said it out loud and I’ve never really observed it up until the other day.
Let me tell you about this client. She had a long pending Green Card case. She has a long pending Green Card case. She’s been waiting for I think about three years. The case is a little bit tricky, but nothing special. She’s moved a few times, so that makes things a little bit more complicated.
But her application was pending for a really long time, so she hired us to sue them. A US attorney was assigned to the lawsuit. When we filed the lawsuit, we filed the case generally in Washington D.C., But we do file in other jurisdictions. We have to send a copy to the local US attorney’s office. The local US attorney’s office is actually a big office.
There are lots of assistant US attorneys that work there and one of them are always assigned to the case. It’s interesting because once they’re assigned to the case, we usually see things moving. That’s sort of the point of the lawsuit is that by filing a lawsuit, we get their attention and we get them to talk to the agencies. Then the agencies start working on the underlying matter.
In this particular situation, they issued a notice of intent to deny. When a case is pending, if they’re going to deny the case, sometimes they’ll send you a NOID, or a Notice of Intention to Deny. Now, of course, you never want to get a NOID. Ha. You never want to get a NOID. Got that? You never want to get a N-O-I-D, a NOID, because that means your case is in a little bit of trouble.
But this client was very savvy, very on top of things. She had her own lawyer in the underlying Green Card case. Most of the times, we don’t take over the underlying Green Card or citizenship or visa case. We are only the lawsuit lawyers. She had a lawyer who put together a very strong and detailed response and she shipped it to the USCIS field office at least a week or 10 days before the deadline.
It was interesting because then, fast forward, I a get notice from the US attorney that the application had been denied because USCIS had never received a response to the NOID. We of course knew that it was ridiculous. The lawyer in the underlying Green Card case for our client sent me the complete package with proof of delivery.
I was able to talk directly to the US attorney who’s defending the lawsuit and she in turn was able to alert USCIS of their mistake, that in fact the packet had been submitted and got the case back on track. When I was talking to my client, she said, “Boy, I’m really glad we had this lawsuit because that was a way for us to communicate directly with them in a way that would never happen through Infopass, or calling, or getting a second tier immigration officer.”
That’s the benefit. That’s the thing is when we filed that lawsuit, I always knew that there’s a US attorney involved and they’re going to talk to their client and cooler heads will probably prevail and get the case moving. But it’s nice too that when something goes off the rails a little bit, that I can just pick up the phone or send an email to the US attorney and they can talk directly to the defendants, which in this case where the Houston immigration office.
Everything worked out in that situation. Actually, we’re hoping it’s working out. They have reopened the case. They’ve set aside the Notice of Intent to Deny and they’re considering the evidence that my client submitted.
But in the meantime, I wanted to shoot this video to let you know about that little unexpected side benefit and that is that we can talk directly through the US attorney with immigration or the State Department when things go off the rails.
If you have a case that’s been pending a long time and you’re thinking about suing them, you should give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to join us in our Facebook group. It’s called Immigrant Home. We have new members joining every day. There’s really good discussion in there.
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