No Expedite on Name Check Where Mandamus Only Reason

February 27th, 2007

The USCIS will no longer request that the FBI expedite a name check on a pending immigration case where the only reason for the request is a mandamus action filed with the district court.  The USCIS will continue to consider expedite requests in the following situations:

1.  Military deployment;

2.  Aging out of children on immigration applications;

3.  Significant and compelling reasons, such as medical conditions; and

4.  Loss of social security benefits or other subsistence at the discretion of the USCIS director.

The USCIS states that the name checks are part of the security checks to ensure the safety of our nation.  However, how does the inordinate backlog in processing these security checks, sometimes pending for years, enhance our protection?  For our government to allow individuals, who are real threats to our country, to remain for long periods of time in the US while their applications are pending actually harms our national security. 

In light of this new policy, aliens with pending immigration cases will face a more sustained and complicated battle in the federal courts to have their applications decided within a reasonable period of time.  The government should beware, however, since if it loses it could lose monetarily as well.  The courts have awarded attorneys fees to the winning party.