Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to sue USCIS. We sued them because they had failed to do their job over and over again. Sometimes, you need a federal lawsuit to get USCIS’s attention and to get them to do the right thing.
Adam is a lawful permanent resident who lives in Georgia and is a citizen of Mexico. He owns a company that does manufacturing in Asia and his ex-wife and children live in Mexico. He travels most every weekend either for work to see his family.
Adam hired us to file for Naturalization in the fall of 2016. In July 2017, we went to his interview and everything appeared fine. In August, USCIS issued a request for additional evidence – they wanted a list of all of his entries/exits to the United States and they wanted to see his tax transcripts.
We provided the travel history, but were unable tot get tax transcripts, so we submitted tax returns. Eleven months later, USCIS denied Adam’s Naturalization application because we had given them tax returns instead of transcripts. We appealed the decision in October 2018.
In January 2019, we went to an interview, but after waiting for several hours, we were told that the file was not there and the interview would be rescheduled. We had the tax transcripts and asked the officer to take them, add them to Adam’s file, and see if a decision could be made without the need for another interview.
In May 2019, we received another interview notice and again went to USCIS. We were again told that the file wasn’t there and that we’d have to continue to wait. At this point, it had been 2.5 years since we filed the original Naturalization application.
After months of waiting and travel growing increasingly difficult, Adam was ready to file a Mandamus complaint against USCIS. USCIS had failed over and over again in its duty to interview him on the appeal and to make a decision. We filed in late January and went to an interview in mid-March. Guess what? They had the file! We explained all the hardships and provided the interviewing officer with the now-notorious tax transcripts.
Adam’s Naturalization application was finally approved in late March. Unfortunately, with the pandemic, USCIS was closed for several months and he could not be sworn in. That is, until yesterday.
We are grateful that Adam was finally successful with his application, though it should never have been this time consuming or costly. Sometimes it’s worth waiting and being patient, but when all the patience in the world isn’t working, it may be worth looking at suing and getting the government to do its job.