By: Lihua Tan
A lawsuit was filed on May 25, 2022 against United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for unreasonable delays in processing applications for naturalization. The plaintiffs in this case are current US lawful permanent residents who applied for naturalization to become US citizens in 2020 and who still have not been naturalized.
USCIS stored paper-based immigration files in the NARA Federal Records Center. The agency renounces responsibility for delays after the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in restricted access to the center. The lawsuit alleges it is USCIS’s responsibility to focus on recovering and processing the immigration records (A-files) that were stored in the Federal Records Centers. The lawsuit seeks to force the NARA and USCIS to focus on recovering the relevant immigration files and scheduling naturalization interviews without any further delays. The plaintiff’s attorneys also highlighted that these potential citizens will not be eligible to vote in the upcoming November 2022 election due to these processing delays.
The suit was filed in the federal district court for the District of Massachusetts by the American Immigration Council and the law firm Gibbs Houston Pauw.
The Chugh, LLP immigration team will continue to monitor the lawsuit and provide updates when available. For questions regarding the lawsuit or case-specific needs, contact your Chugh, LLP immigration team.