What’s the one kind of delayed case that you might not want to sue over? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St Louis, Missouri. If you know us, you know that we sue USCIS a lot, we sue the State Department a lot, we sued them over 450 times for delays. We sued them in federal court and we asked the federal judge to make the defendant agencies get moving on your case.
And there is one kind of case where you really, really, really need to think through whether it makes sense to file a lawsuit. Can anyone think what it is? No, not naturalization. We sue on naturalization all the time, we sue on green cards all the time, we sue on delayed visa cases a lot and we also sue on green card delays, so where people are trying to adjust status. The one case where you really have to think it through, and I’m making this video just for you, is for people who are thinking about suing when their asylum case has taken a long time.
Now, many cases, many people have had their situations delayed and delayed and delayed in asylum cases. There was this vacuum of cases from 2015 and 2016 that basically sucked up all those cases and they’ve never really been adjudicated. And the reason for that is that when president Trump came into office, his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, said, “Well, we’re going to switch up how we do our interviews on these asylum cases. Instead of doing interviews like we always have had on the oldest cases, we’re going to start with the newest cases because we want to deport people as fast as we can and we don’t want to let them get settled in the United States.”
And so there’s all these really old cases that haven’t been adjudicated. And then of course there’s just general delay on cases in processing times and then I also think that they pick and choose which cases they delay. So we do get a lot of calls about people who are thinking of suing because their asylum case is taking too long, but lately, I’ve been pushing back a lot on these. We’ve always warned people of what I’m about to tell you, but we’ve really been pushing back lately.
And so here’s the problem with suing on an asylum case. Most people who apply for asylum enter the United States somehow. They either entered without inspection or they had a visa and they overstayed and they applied for asylum in the United States and then their case is pending two or three or four years. And they say, “Jim, I want to sue them.”
Well, unlike citizenship, so if I sue on citizenship and you don’t get it, you get to keep your green card. If I sue on your green card, most likely you’re going to get it. But if you don’t, we might have to refile. And for visa cases, we’re always suing and the delay might just be a little bit longer, but at the end of the day, you’re going to get your visa.
Asylum cases are different. Asylum cases, if you have your asylum case denied, you’re going to be referred to the immigration court unless like a small minority of people, you’re in some kind of other valid status. But if you’re out of status and you have no other way to stay here and you have your asylum case denied, the asylum office is going to refer you to your local immigration court for deportation proceedings.
Now, you’re going to get another chance to prove your asylum case in immigration court, but that’s going to be with a prosecutor trying to deport you and a judge who works for a machine that is designed to deport people as quickly as possible.
So you really, really, really need to think through whether or not you want to file a lawsuit on an asylum case. And the stakes are much higher on those for the reasons I just explained. So you need to ask yourself, “Well, it is stressful not knowing if I’m going to get asylum but I am getting my work card, I am getting to stay in the United States. Do I really want to push them when the asylum office is denying cases at a much higher rate than under president Obama and president Bush?” So you really need to think it through and you really need to make sure that this is something that you’re comfortable with.
And I know that in making this video, I’m going to have less people file lawsuits for asylum delays and that means less income for our firm, but you know what? I’m totally fine with that because as always, we want you to make your best decision possible. We want you to only file lawsuits if you understand the consequences.
We want you to make good decisions. We do everything we can to try to help our clients make good decisions, understand the consequences of what they’re doing and the likelihood of success.
So if you’re thinking about suing for asylum, we can certainly do it, but you need to think it through and you need to think about the consequences and you need to consider all of your options. And most importantly, you need to ask yourself if my asylum case got denied and I received a notice to appear and I had a court date and I was going to have to go in front of a judge soon to defend myself against asylum or against deportation by claiming asylum, is that something I really want to do? Is that going to be a whole lot more stressful than where I am right now? And I think that it is.
So if you have questions about this, about lawsuits in general, give us a call at 3149618200. You can email us at [email protected] Be sure to join us in our Facebook group so that we can talk it through. We post a lot of good immigration news there, a lot of our firm news and a lot of updates about what’s going on at USCIS and the State Department and the immigration courts. If you want to subscribe to our YouTube channel, that would be great so you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.