Newark, NJ- A new class-action lawsuit, filed by three immigrants and immigration service providers in a federal court, alleges that the United State Citizenship and Immigration Services fails to process or adjudicate employment authorization applications in a timely manner as prescribed by law. The lawsuit also alleges the federal immigration agency is not issuing temporary work authorizations for pending applications. And, as the lawsuit states, these unnecessary delays have economic and social implications for immigrants waiting for work authorization.
According to the lawsuit, filed May 22, the long processing delays of employment authorization applications go beyond the time limit outlined by the Administrative Procedures Act. That act requires USCIS process employment authorization applications within 90 days. Applications for immigrants with asylum status should be processed within 30 days. If further adjudication is necessary for work authorization, the APA requires that the USCIS issue temporary work authorization which is valid for 240 days.
However, the lawsuit alleges the federal agency is not fulfilling their obligations under the APA, putting the immigration status, jobs, travel privileges and driver’s licenses (in some states) of immigrants in jeopardy if they are still waiting for a decision on their work authorization application or renewal. These delays also put some immigrants in danger of being deported.
Work authorization is granted to immigrants with pending green card applications, pending asylum applications of approvals, and certain visas, so the delays in processing impact thousands of immigrants and employers.
The lawsuit details the problems plaintiffs have encountered because of the delays. One of the immigrants named in the suit is a mother of a disabled child who is in danger of losing her work authorization. Another of the plaintiff, a young woman who qualified for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, has been waiting for her work permit since December 2014; because her application has yet to be processed, she lost her full time employment and cannot provide for her three children.
Not only are the delays causing hardship for immigrants, but they also affect many American employers and the nation’s economy as a whole. A 2013 report from Congressional Business Office estimated that immigrants contribute $10.6 million to the American economy through consumer purchases and tax revenue. If they lose their jobs, they are unable to support their families and contribute to the economy.
Since immigrants are an important component of the American workforce, employers risk losing valued employees. High turnover and the hiring process are costly to employers.
As this case shows immigrants already face administrative delays when applying for employment authorization, they can’t afford any additional delays which could easily be avoided by retaining an immigration attorney.
As a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and an experienced I am qualified to help immigrants with a wide range of needs. Whether you require assistance with a visa or work authorization or you need deportation defense, I can help you.
I understand your rights as an immigrant and will approach your case professionally and with dedication to give your dreams the chance to come to fruition. Contact me at my Newark Office so we can discuss your case and determine what steps you need to take.