Welcome to The Immigration Answers podcast!
Increased background checks under the current administration have led to significant increases in wait times for Green Cards. This week we talk about what you should do if your Green Card is excessively delayed.
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[0:00] This is the immigration answer show with Jim hacking episode number 20.
[0:05] Welcome to the immigration answer show with your host immigration lawyer Jim hacking.
In each episode Jim will answer your questions about the u.s. immigration system discover why the New York Times The Wall Street Journal national public radio and buzzfeed.com have all featured Jim and get the help you need navigating our complex immigration laws now on to the show.
[0:32] Welcome to the immigration answers show where we answer your immigration questions 3 days a week you’ve got questions and we’ll do our best to answer them every Monday Wednesday and Friday.
Today’s question about the u.s. immigration system today’s question comes from Eyad and he is wondering about his delayed Green Card case.
[0:49] Hello Mr. Hacking I would like to ask your assistance on my case.
I came to the states in November 2015 married in January 2016 after 3 months,
and applied for my Green Card application I got my interview appointment in December 2016 before 1 month and after Two weeks they asked me for additional evidence I submit to them immediately and now it’s almost 1 year.
There is no any response from their side. I
made the submit service request but I didn’t get any update from them I went to the local office and they informed me that my case is pending because there is a security check.
The security check as they mentioned is from overseas I don’t know why. I have a Turkish passport so I would like to know if you have any solution for this background check or Security check as they said or if we can speed up the process.
Looking forward to hear back from you thank you very much.
Hey Eyad first let me Begin by saying I’m sorry you’re going through such a delay we’ve been seeing this more and more recently especially with men who are applying for green cards or citizenship.
[2:22] From predominantly Muslim countries and of course turkey is a predominantly Muslim country.
One thing I want to begin by saying is that you know we don’t really put much stock into what answers do you get when you go down for infopass.
Whenever you call USA s or make an infopass appointment it’s our experience that they basically just tell you what they think the problem is but they don’t really dig deeply into why your case is being delayed.
And we’ve heard all kinds of reasons background check, name check, Security check there’s lots of names for the delay but basically your case is being delayed due to a program called the controlled application review and resolution program which was a former secret program connected to the immigration service and 30 other federal agencies that is basically designed to slow down immigration to the United States for
[3:13] people from predominantly Muslim countries. The CARP program as it’s called was unknown until the American civil liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the immigration service to find out why these cases were being delayed and they took some Discovery they got some documents and then got to take depositions and found out that lo and behold there is a secret program called CARP and that basically the carp system works like this: they assume that you’re a terrorist and then they work their way backwards to try to disprove that assumption.
And so there’s no way for you to challenge it no wait for you to try to get your name off the car place there’s no way that you’re going to be able to actually get an answer as to whether your case has been corrupt is the phrase we use and so.
In our experience you’re just going to keep banging your head against the wall when you’re talking about doing things like infopass appointment calling the 1-800 number.
Calling the USCIS On budsman which is somebody who’s an employee at immigration that supposed to help you get answers.
[4:14] We’ve also found it to be ineffective and when you call the u.s. senator or congress person to try to get them to help you with your case none of those things really work.
Basically your case is up on a shelf somewhere and no one’s really looking at it and when you go in what they tell you to try to make you go away and I’m sad to say that’s sort of the honest truth.
In my experience the only thing that works is actually filing a lawsuit against the immigration service. When you file a lawsuit you’re asking a federal judge who works outside of the immigration system to compel immigration to rule in your case the law says that
[4:55] any agency that has an issue before it whether that’s the immigration service,
Internal Revenue Service Department of Labor or any other Federal agency that whenever they have an issue or case before then that they have to rule on it in a reasonable amount of time.
It sounds like your case is approaching 2 years and we would say that that is patently unreasonable that anything over a year is way outside normal processing times that there’s some fundamental issue.
That is making them hold up your case and that you can’t get any relief other than going into federal court.
Our lawsuits have been very successful we filed over a hundred of them in all different kinds of immigration scenarios including one like yours green cards.
We’ve filed many lawsuits for delayed Green Card cases and basically what the lawsuit does is when we filed a lawsuit we serve a copy of it upon each defendant and they have 60 days to answer so usually things get moving about 45 days after you file we start hearing things for the immigration service when I get a decision when I get an interview and it just basically gets the case movie.
It doesn’t work in every single case but it works in most cases and so we’ve had a lot of success with this it’s actually one of my favorite things to do I really enjoy helping people get the immigration benefits that they deserve.
It’s a service specialty that we’ve developed not a lot of immigration lawyers are familiar with writs of mandamus which is the type of lawsuit that you filed lawsuit under the administrative procedures Act.
And so this is really something I think you had that we could help you with anyone else is listening is experiencing it away especially if you’re from a predominantly Muslim country we think we can help you.
[6:30] We have filed a few of these for people who are from Muslim countries and those have worked as well. We just filed one last week for a fella from India so the lawsuits work.
The reason that they work is because in the loss of your asking the judge to declare the controlled application review and resolution program carpet illegal.
And they don’t want a judge to rule that way so what they seem to be willing to do is to do some horse-trading that they’ll decide your case in exchange for you not asking the judge for an actual declaration that carb is illegal.
The CARP program itself is under attack up in Seattle there’s a federal class-action that’s going on and the ACLU and some other lawyers are working up there,
to try to overturn CARP to get it cancelled but in the meantime we’re using the courts to try to get action on one case at a time we’ve tried to class action route,
it didn’t work for us so we’ve been doing them one at a time ever since. We hope this helps you have any questions make sure to visit our website.
And check-out CARP you can search for a bite just searching C-A-R-P or controlled application review in resolution program also we have some videos on our YouTube channel so we hope you found this helpful and if you want to talk about it yeah just give us an email.
Send us an email or give us a call at 314-961-8200 thanks everybody for listening.
[7:49] We hope you found this immigration answer interesting and helpful we look forward to answering more of your questions in the future please be sure to give us a review on iTunes or wherever you download your podcast and please share the show with people who you think might find it helpful.
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[8:19] Thanks for listening to the immigration answer show with Jim hacking be sure to visit us on the web at immigration answers show.com,
if you have an immigration related question please send us an email.
Questions at immigration answers show.com we look forward to serving you on our next episode and remember the answers provided on the show are of a general nature,
the show does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed if you have specific questions about your situation be sure to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer.