The Trump Administration has placed unprecedented obstacles in the way of acquiring immigration benefits. This includes not just the most publicized examples- locking children in cages who enter illegally along the southern border- but legal immigration as well. The last fiscal year, saw the highest levels of H1B denials in DHS history. CIS examiners and Consular offficials search for reasons to deny legitimate investments. And 80% of asylum claims are being denied while one million asylum claims remain to be adjudicated.
Some of these denials and delays can addressed within the immigration system itself. Denials of immigration benefits for example, can be appealed to an office called the Administrative Appeals Office. Deportation or Removal orders can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Even consular officials have some measure of accountability within the State Department.
Often these appeals are ineffective and result in routine denials. A revised inquiry system, put into place last year that was supposed to allow greater access to an immigration officer to review delayed decisions, has only resulted in further isolating CIS officers from any accountability.
As a result, we often recommend to our clients that they sue DHS in federal court. As a Long Island based immigration firm, we represent clients in the District Court for the Eastern District of New York and in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. These cases include:
- Mandamus Actions- These actions ask a federal judge to order DHS to act on a long delayed application. When naturalization or adjustment of status applications have been pending for more than a year, and repeated attempts to get DHS to address the problem have failed have been ignored, we often suggest that clients sue the federal government. These suits often get quick results.
- Declaratory Judgment Actions- These actions ask a federal judge to review a decision by DHS which we believe is clearly erroneous and/or illegal. We are currently in federal court on appeals of denials of E2, Treaty Investor status and H1B, professional worker status. We are also suing DHS for their denial of TPS applications for adjustment of status.
- Naturalization Appeals- Federal law requires DHS to decide an application for naturalization within four months of the interview. When these decisions are delayed or the application is improperly denied, we can seek review in the federal courts.
- Circuit Court Appeals of Deportation Orders- When appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) are dismissed, there is often only one further option, to take a final appeal to the Circuit Court of Appeals. Most often, these appeals involve asylum denials resulting from recent actions by the Trump Administration to deny asylum to those fleeing violence in Central America.
Suing in federal court does NOT result in the government taking revenge or other punitive actions against the immigrant or the immigrant’s employer, so no one should be fearful of exercising their right to federal review. But such cases can be expensive and stressful and should only be used as a last resort. Our Long Island immigration firm has almost 40 years of experience with these kinds of cases and we will review your options carefully.