Immigrants file lawsuit against US government over citizenship delays

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California filed a class action lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] against the federal government Thursday, alleging that "its practice of indefinitely delaying citizen applications" violated due process rights protected by the Constitution and federal statutes and regulations governing immigration. The immigrant plaintiffs in the case, all long-time lawful permanent residents of the United States, passed mandatory criminal background checks and naturalization interviews over two years ago. The complaint states that the US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [official websites], both responsible for the naturalization process background checks, have violated regulations "requiring that such applications be adjudicated within 120 days of the initial examination" and seek a time limit for the background checks and speedy adjudication of their applications.

Current immigration regulations stipulate that "a decision to grant or deny the application shall be made at the time of the initial examination or within 120-days after the date of the initial examination of the applicant for naturalization." The plaintiffs are also seeking naturalization adjudication before a district court under 8 USC 1447(b) [text], which allows a district court to make a determination if the CIS has failed to make a determination within 120 days. AP has more.



 

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