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CAIR-Columbus Resolves Citizenship Delay Lawsuit Against USCIS

(COLUMBUS, OHIO, 11/21/2017) — The Columbus, Ohio, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Columbus) today announced the resolution of a citizenship delay lawsuit against United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

CAIR-Columbus’ client, a native of Iraq, is now a United States citizen after waiting more than three years for his citizenship application to be adjudicated.

United States law provides that an applicant must receive a decision on a citizenship application within 120 days of the interview. However, until CAIR-Columbus attorneys filed a lawsuit its client, USCIS failed to even schedule an interview.

Once the lawsuit challenging the unreasonable delay was filed, the client was interviewed and approved within two months, and was officially sworn in a as citizen last week.

CAIR-Columbus attorneys suspect the case was delayed due to a policy called CARRP, which stands for the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program. 

CARRP is a covert program that the U.S. government began in 2008, under which the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — in particular the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) — began giving strict extra scrutiny to immigrants and non-citizens from Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities when they apply for U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residency (a green card), and asylum.

The typical result of this added scrutiny is that applicants put on the CARRP list face long USCIS delays in the best case, and in the worst case, receive a USCIS denial without prior notice, stated reason or legal authority. In some cases, USCIS will not take any action at all, which can result in indefinite limbo.

CAIR-Columbus Legal Director Romin Iqbal says that the client is not the only Muslim American who has dealt with delayed immigration issues. 

Under the Trump administration CAIR-Columbus has seen an increase in immigration delays of all types, and has filed immigration-related lawsuits for 19 plaintiffs this year alone. 

CAIR-Columbus has successfully obtained the requested immigration benefit for 14 of those plaintiffs already – lawsuits for the other five are still pending.

Ohio Muslims who are facing similar delays are being urged to contact CAIR-Columbus for assistance by filing an incident report online at: https://www.cair-columbus.com/

The Washington-based civil rights and advocacy organization urges community members to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report

CAIR recently launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.

For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

– END – CONTACT: C CAIR-Columbus Executive Director, Jennifer Nimer, 614-451-3232, jnimer@cair.com; CAIR-Ohio Legal Director Romin Iqbal, 614-783-7953, riqbal@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, ihooper@cair.com

 

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