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Immigration Law

USCIS Sued Over 'Unlawful Delay' Of Citizenship Applications Of Muslims - Arapi v. USCIS

Talal Ansari, BuzzFeed News, May 18, 2016 - "The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) unlawfully delays the citizenship applications of Muslim immigrants due to a secretive immigration program, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in St. Louis.  The lawsuit — filed by the Hacking Law Practice on behalf of 13 Muslim immigrants in the Eastern District of Missouri — alleges that the “USCIS has applied different rules under a policy known as the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (CARRP), which has resulted in the agency refusing to adjudicate Plaintiffs’ applications.”  CARRP, which first began in 2008, is designed to identify security risks among immigrants who apply for visas, asylum, green cards, and naturalization in the U.S.  “Plaintiffs bring this action to compel the USCIS to finally — after years of waiting — adjudicate their pending applications for naturalization as required by law,” the complaint states.  In January, a BuzzFeed News investigation revealed how the FBI, against their own guidelines, offered immigration assistance to Muslim immigrants affected by CARRP’s delays in exchange for spying on their friends, family, and communities.  Jim Hacking, lead attorney on the case, said CAARP discriminates against Muslims, since it “holds Muslim immigration applicants to a higher legal standard.”  “What my clients want is simple: they want what the law provides. They want to be vetted like everyone else, and treated like every other person applying for citizenship. The USCIS has unilaterally taken it on themselves to hold Muslims to a higher scrutiny. They find themselves in this black hole where they can’t get out. There’s no recourse for them,” Hacking said."