Archive for month: May, 2015

May 26, 2015
26 May 2015

Immigrants and Their Advocates File Class Action Lawsuit Against USCIS and DHS for Unlawful Delays in Adjudicating Applications for Employment Authorization

Seattle, WA – Last Friday, three immigrants and two immigration service providers filed a nationwide class action lawsuit here in Seattle against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for unlawfully delaying the adjudication of their applications for employment authorization. Filed by the American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), Gibbs Houston Pauw, Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C., and Van der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP, the complaint alleges that USCIS’s policies and practices of failing to timely adjudicate applications for employment authorization documents (EADs) and failing to issue interim employment authorization, violate the governing regulations and the Administrative Procedure Act.

By regulation, USCIS must either adjudicate EAD applications within a fixed time period or issue interim employment authorization. Yet, USCIS regularly fails to do either, leaving immigrants in a precarious position, unable to work legally and at risk of losing their jobs, related benefits and, in some states, their driver’s licenses. At a recent meeting with AILA members, USCIS representatives indicated that “USCIS no longer produces interim EADs.” Plaintiffs seek the Court’s intervention to compel USCIS to adjudicate EAD applications within the time period mandated by the regulations or, if the regulatory time period has expired, issue interim employment authorization.

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May 4, 2015
04 May 2015

Federal District Court Orders Department of State to Issue Passport

The federal court in Seattle recently found that Washington resident Carlos Acosta was a U.S. citizen and ordered the State Department to renew his passport.  Acosta was born in a relative’s home in Colorado, and then returned to Mexico shortly thereafter.  Because the birth was registered both in Colorado and Mexico, the court considered family members’ testimony about the birthplace and found their testimony sufficiently persuasive to carry Acosta’s burden of proof.  The State Department had terminated his passport when it discovered the Mexican birth certificate.

“It is fairly common for US births to also be registered in Mexico in order to obtain medical benefits and to attend school,” said Acosta’s attorney Robert Pauw.  “This case shows that persuasive family testimony can be successfully used to establish US citizenship.”

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