It is getting harder to be an immigrant.
It was already very hard, don't get me wrong, but it is getting worse.
The denials, travel bans, and delays make people lose hope before they even get a chance.
But sometimes, we are able to restore that hope.
Late last year, a woman named Adiba came to see us.
She was a naturalized U.S. citizen, and her fiance, Samiullah, was in Pakistan.
In May of 2018, Adiba filed the I-129F to get a visa for Samiullah.
USCIS approved the case in November of 2018, and sent it to embassy for Samiullah's interview.
Samiullah and Adiba were happy. Things were moving fast and they were going to be together soon.
But that didn't happen.
Samiullah was interviewed in January of 2019, and everything stopped.
There were no updates, no requests, nothing.
Just "administrative processing".
So they waited. They didn't think it would take long to be processed.
But they kept waiting, and waiting.
Adiba made some inquiries to her local senator, but they got a vague answer of "extra background checks".
So they waited longer.
In October of 2019, after 18 months since originally filing, Adiba reached out to us to see if we could do anything to help.
And we could.
We filed a lawsuit against the U.S. consulate in Islamabad, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, USCIS, and everyone in charge of them.
Finally, Adiba started seeing movement.
The embassy asked for updated documents from Samiullah, which he quickly provided to them.
And shortly after, a decision was made.
Samiullah was given his visa and booked a flight to the United States.
In February 2020, Adiba and Samiullah were reunited.
It is difficult seeing so many couples go through this with the U.S. government and lose hope on their loved ones.
And maybe one day this will end.
Maybe one day the process won't take so long, or won't discriminate against people of certain countries or religions.
But until then, we will keep filing lawsuits.
And we will keep fighting.