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CAIR-Columbus Files Lawsuit to Reunite Refugee Family

(COLUMBUS, OHIO, 9/12/18) – The Columbus, Ohio, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Columbus) today announced the filing of a federal lawsuit in the Southern District of Ohio against the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the USCIS Nairobi Field Office, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), on behalf of a Columbus Muslim man and his wife — who is currently in a refugee camp in Kenya — who have been waiting on the wife’s visa to be approved since March, 2015. 

SEE: CAIR Filing

Plaintiff Isse Ali immigrated to the U.S. as a refugee and after his marriage promptly filed a follow-to-join refugee application for his wife, Warsan. The application was approved by USCIS and sent to the Nairobi field office for interview and issuance of travel documents. 

The petition has now remained pending in the Nairobi field office for more than four years – an extraordinary amount of time. During that time the couple has had two children together and has suffered the heartbreak of having their family continually separated.  They have inquired dozens of times as to the source of the delay but have been unable to obtain any information as to why the Nairobi field office has not issued a decision on the application. 

In statement, Jennifer Nimer, CAIR-Columbus executive director and one of the attorneys in the lawsuit, SAID:

“The various versions of the travel ban issued by the Trump administration have contributed to the delay in this case, but even prior to the bans, the Nairobi field office already interviewed Warsan twice, has not informed her of any problems or deficiencies in her application, and have now delayed this case for over four years for no apparent reason. They should be held accountable as to why they are needlessly keeping a husband and wife apart and keeping these children from their father.”

She noted that CAIR-Columbus recently announced the successful resolution of a lawsuit against the U.S. embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, for unreasonably delaying immigrant visas for the four minor children of a U.S. legal permanent resident.

SEE: CAIR-Columbus Reuinited Family After Filing Visa Delay Lawsuit Against U.S. Embassy in Islamabad

CAIR-Columbus has seen an increase in immigration delays of all types and has filed immigration-related lawsuits for more than 40 plaintiffs just since the beginning of 2017. The majority of those cases have already been successfully resolved in favor of the Plaintiffs.

Muslims who are facing similar delays are being urged to contact CAIR-Columbus for assistance by filing an incident report online at

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

 La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

 – END –

CONTACT: Jennifer Nimer, CAIR-Columbus Executive Director, 614-451-3232,

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