Frequently Asked Questions on Approval of I-687 applications

TO:                  Proyecto San Pablo class members and counsel

FROM:             Robert Gibbs, Robert Pauw, class counsel

RE:                  Approval of I-687 applications, FAQ

1. What does it mean when the AAO decision says that my I-687 application is approved? What documents should I receive from USCIS  to prove my status?

The AAO decision approving your I-687 means that your legalization application filed in 1987-88 has been granted and you are a Lawful Temporary Resident (LTR), pursuant to INA 245A.  After the AAO sends the file to the Nebraska Service Center, you should shortly receive an I-797 approval notice stating that you are approved for Temporary Resident status, and also an Employment/Travel Authorization card valid for four years.  Because the LTR status is only granted to amnesty applicants from 1987/88, the agency does not have the ability to produce an LTR card, so the approval notice and Employment Authorization card are what CIS is providing you to demonstrate your status.

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Frequently Asked Questions about the Asylum Clock Class Action Settlement


B.H., et al. v. USCIS, et al., which was originally filed as A.B.T., et al. v. USCIS, et al. (hereinafter referred to as the ABT case), is a nationwide class action that challenged the manner in which the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) determine an asylum applicant’s eligibility for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).  The suit was filed in the federal district court in Seattle, Washington in December, 2011 by the Legal Action Center (LAC) of the American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), Gibbs Houston Pauw, and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.

The lawsuit challenged five specific EOIR and USCIS policies for administering the “asylum EAD clock”[1] in removal proceedings.  The asylum EAD clock is the tool used by the agencies to calculate whether an asylum applicant has satisfied the 180-day waiting period for eligibility for work authorization.  Asylum applicants are not automatically eligible to receive an EAD while their applications are pending.  Instead, an applicant who is otherwise eligible can receive an EAD only after the asylum application has been pending for 180 days.  The running of the 180-day waiting period is suspended for applicant-requested or caused delay of the adjudication of the asylum application.

The parties reached a settlement of all issues in the case.  The settlement agreement was approved by the district court on November 4, 2013 and will be implemented as of December 3, 2013.  This FAQ will describe the terms of the settlement agreement and the process for implementation.

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Settlement Reached in Class Action Lawsuit Over Arbitrary Asylum Clock

November 5, 2013

Federal Judge Approves Settlement Agreement in National Class Action Lawsuit on Work Authorization for Asylum Seekers

On Monday, November 4, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones ordered the final approval of a nationwide class action settlement agreement. The settlement will help ensure that asylum seekers, who have fled persecution in their home countries, are not unlawfully prevented from working and supporting their families while the government adjudicates their cases. The changes will commence on December 3, 2013.

The agreement stems from a case filed in December 2011 by the American Immigration Council and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP), with co-counsel from the Seattle law firm Gibbs Houston Pauw and the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute. The complaint challenged widespread problems with the “asylum clock”—the system government agencies use to determine when immigrants who have applied for asylum may obtain permission to work lawfully in the United States.

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Robert Gibbs Discusses Problems for Visitors at Airport Inspections, Seattle Times, Nov. 5, 2013

November 5, 2013

Suspicious Feds Turn Back Many Foreigners at Airport

Thousands of travelers are denied entry into the country each year because of a presumption in U.S. immigration policy that every arriving foreigner intends to stay. It can be difficult convincing authorities otherwise.

By Lornet Turnbull   Seattle Times staff reporter

Originally published November 4, 2013

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