Daily Immigration News – Yasrebi Law

A federal judge in Southern District of California ruled on Tuesday afternoon (San Diego) that undocumented immigrants may have standing to sue U.S.C.I.S for passing over their U Visa Applications.

U visas is a shortcut to citizenship compared to traditional visas, given only to immigrant victims of certain crimes. Congress created U nonimmigrant visa with the passage of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) in October 2000, intended to help law enforcement investigate more crimes involving international trafficking, torture and murder. U Visas often have an annual cap of 10,000 approved cases, eligibility is based on certifying agencies, such as law enforcement’s approval if an applicant is deemed cooperative in criminal cases.

Many plaintiffs who claimed they have filed for U Visas in 2017 but instead received significant delays in the processing of their applications and instead being passed over for applications after 2017. The plaintiffs sued the Ur Jaddou, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for unreasonable delays in processing of their application and U.S. Senior District Judge Thomas Whelan ruled that the plaintiffs have a valid claim under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Whelan stated, "Plaintiffs sufficiently alleged that defendant’s delay in adjudicating their petitions violates either the APA’s mandate that non-discretionary decisions be made within a reasonable time or USCIS’s own regulation governing the order in which petitions are adjudicated."

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