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Recent Trends in Immigration Delay Cases

May 17, 2024 (1 min read)

NILA Practice Advisory, May 17, 2024

"Noncitizens and their attorneys are experiencing record-breaking delays in the adjudication of benefit applications by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State (DOS). As processing times for most, if not all, applications stretch into years, attorneys increasingly are challenging these delays in U.S. district courts. As a result, there have been dozens of district court decisions—and a handful of court of appeals decisions—in recent years addressing immigration delay suits brought under the Mandamus Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1361, and/or the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. § 706(1). This practice advisory analyzes trends from decisions issued only since 2021, focusing primarily on decisions from the courts of appeals and reported district court decisions.2 It is not a complete survey of cases since most district court decisions are unreported. Note that some of the referenced district court cases may be on appeal. Consequently, attorneys contemplating a delay lawsuit should independently research decisions within their jurisdiction."