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CAIR-Chicago Files Lawsuits Against USCIS, DHS, and US Attorney General over Citizenship Delays

(CHICAGO, IL, 3/11/2021CAIR-Chicago, the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, has filed two new lawsuits against the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”), the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”), and the U.S. Attorney General for extensive delays stemming from the processing of properly-filed citizenship applications. 

The applications were filed by two Moroccan men, one who moved to the United States in 2013 and became a lawful permanent resident later that same year, and the other by one who moved to the U.S. in 2008 and became a lawful permanent resident in 2014. The first man filed his application for citizenship in June 2018, and he was interviewed by USCIS in January 2019. Since then, he has not received any decision on his application despite making numerous efforts to obtain the status of it through various administrative remedies (written and phone inquiries, letters to U.S. Representatives, DHS Ombudsman requests, etc.). 

The second man filed his application in May 2019, and in October he received a notice setting his interview for December. The December interview was abruptly cancelled without notice or explanation and was re-set to January 2020. The second interview in January was also cancelled, again without notice or explanation. Both times the applicant appeared at the USCIS facility at the date and time of his interview only to be told that it had been cancelled at the last minute. Since that time, he has not received any decision on his application despite his written inquiries to USCIS, his letters to his Senator, and his requests for assistance from the DHS Ombudsman. Both men are seeking a ruling by the Court that the agencies have taken too long to rule on their applications, and that final decisions are due to them immediately. 

“Too often, these matters simply fall between the cracks and get forgotten by the agencies, only to leave the applicants in a state of limbo wondering what has happened to their applications,” said Phil Robertson, Litigation Director for CAIR-Chicago. “Many applicants have had to wait months or years for decisions on their applications, denying them the fruits and benefits of citizenship and prolonging their uncertainty, all unnecessarily, based on vague assertions from the government that the applications are still ‘in processing’ or ‘under review.’ Unfortunately, sometimes it takes Federal Court to get these matters un-stuck in the system.” 

CAIR-Chicago routinely handles cases involving delays in the processing of applications for citizenship, green cards, employment authorization documents, asylum, spousal visas, status adjustments, TPS, and a variety of other immigrant and non-immigrant benefits. CAIR-Chicago will typically work with the applicants to exhaust all of their administrative remedies before bringing the matter to Court. With its experienced litigation team, CAIR-Chicago handles many such mandamus complaints in Federal Court every year, all with no attorney fees to the clients, and a generally high success rate. If you have experienced unreasonable delays in any of the above-mentioned types of applications, or with visas, please feel free to reach out to CAIR-Chicago for assistance at

CONTACT: CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab, 202-870-0166, arehab@cair.comCAIR-Chicago Communications Coordinator Saadia Pervaiz, 312-212-1520, spervaiz@cair.comCAIR-Chicago Communications Coordinator Hannah Faris, 312-212-1520, hfaris@cair.comAdvancing Justice | Chicago Communications Specialist Megan Singson, 630-334-4045;

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