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Delayed decision-making by immigration agencies is a recurring problem faced by immigration attorneys and their clients. The federal mandamus statute provides a remedy for unreasonable delays by allowing a federal district court judge to order the agency to make a decision within a specific period of time. Too often, attorneys for the government attempt to dismiss mandamus cases, arguing that the court has no jurisdiction. We have filed amicus briefs in cases pending in the courts of appeals with the goal of establishing binding precedent confirming the district courts’ jurisdiction over mandamus suits against USCIS. We argue that USCIS has a non-discretionary duty to decide an application (although not necessarily to approve it) and that, in cases in which there is unreasonable delay, district courts have jurisdiction under the mandamus statute to order the agency to carry out this duty in a timely fashion.



Safadi v. Atty. Gen. of the United States, No. 09-12123-JJ (11th Cir. amicus brief filed June 23, 2009) (case settled without a decision).

Poliakova v. Gonzalez, No. 08-13313-FF (11th Cir. amicus brief filed Aug. 18, 2008) (case settled without a decision). 

Vorontsova v. Chertoff, No. 08-1052 (1st Cir. amicus brief filed July 16, 2008) (case settled without a decision).

Liu v. Mukasey, No. 07-3538, (7th Cir. amicus brief filed Jan. 18, 2008) (case settled without a decision).

Grinberg v. Swacina, No. 07-11594 (11th Cir. amicus brief filed Oct. 10, 2007) (case settled without a decision).

Li v. Gonzales, No. 07-2990 (3rd Cir. amicus brief filed Sept. 7, 2007) (case settled without a decision).Read more...

Lesson for Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s The Danger of a Single Story

In this lesson, students watch and respond to novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche’s Ted Talk “The Danger of a Single Story.” In this 18:39 minute video, she tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice and relays the potential risks for misunderstanding a group of people when only a single story is shared as representative of that culture. This film and corresponding discussion guide can enhance the reading of diverse literature in the classroom and lends itself to a discussion on the benefits of diversity.

For lesson procedures and Common Core alignment, please click here.


Year Released: 2015


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14th Amendment faces challenge from immigration hardliners

Published on Sun, Sep 12, 2010

Michele Waslin, a senior policy analyst with the Washington, D.C.-based Immigration Policy Center, said changing the birthright citizenship laws will not solve the problem of illegal immigration.

"It actually increases the number of illegal immigrants because children would be born in the U.S. with no legal status," she said.


Published in the Arizona Central

American Immigration Council v. DHS and USCIS

Entire Document Production, February 6, 2012

Key documents:

Pages 2-4: Seating policy- Email directives from 2010 and 2011 regarding policy of allowing attorneys to sit next to their clients and concern that some field offices are not incompliance.

Pages 67-74: Representation overseas- Email correspondence regarding representation of refugees overseas (note that USCIS did not release the “old counsel opinion” referenced in an email).

Pages 117-118, Pages 1670-1671: Directive to review AIC and AILA’s proposed revisions to the AFM

Pages 967-968: Stalled review of the AFM: email correspondence indicating there is “a lot of interest” in amending the counsel provisions of the AFM and an explanation that the amendment process was stalled in 2007.

Page 1355: “Just trying to get this right – esp. given I-797 fiasco”- A redacted 2011 email (probably regarding amendments to the AFM) with the title “Just trying to get this right – esp. given I-797 fiasco.”Read more...

Faith-Based Groups Differ in Approach to Immigration Reform

Published on Sun, Nov 07, 2010

According to the Immigration Policy Center the U.S. employment-based immigration rules are not in line with U.S. labor needs. Only 5,000 green cards per year are given to less skilled workers such as landscapers, hotel staff, and construction workers. This inadequate number of available green cards is “the crux of the unauthorized immigration problem in the U.S.,” according to an October 2010 Fact Sheet by the center.

Published in the Epoch Times

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 3, No. 3

This issue covers the Supreme Court's decision to hear an asylum case involving the persecutor bar, attorneys' fees in naturalization delay suits, pending circuit court cases addressing whether anti-immigration state and local laws are preempted by federal law, and a recent decision regarding evidence that the BIA did not mail a decision.

Published On: Thursday, March 20, 2008 | Download File

Editorial: Overreaching on immigration by making bus drivers criminals

Published on Wed, Jan 26, 2011

While the loss of Head Start would be devastating, it would be far from the only loss the Bluegrass State would suffer if SB 6 became law. The American Immigration Center's Immigration Policy Center recently projected that passage of this bill would cost Kentucky $1.7 billion in economic activity and more than 12,000 jobs.

Published in the Lexington Herald Leader

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 8

This issue covers Supreme Court Review of an Aggravated Felony Case, Jurisdiction over Natz Delays Actions, and LGBT and HIV Based Asylum Claims.

Published On: Tuesday, April 4, 2006 | Download File