Delayed Production of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) and Lawful Permanent Resident Cards
Currently, there are significant delays with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issuing Employment Authorization Document (EAD) cards and Green Cards for some employment-based, family-based, and asylum-based immigration applications.
On July 9, the Washington Post reported that USCIS has shut down printing of documents evidencing legal status and work authorization for immigrants and nonimmigrants, including green cards and EAD, in Corbin, KY, weeks ago, and USCIS has scaled back printing at the second facility in Lee's Summit, MO, resulting in massive delays. USCIS blames "financial concerns" for their failure to renew the contract with the printing company despite never alerting Congress. According to a USCIS, approximately 50,000 green cards and 75,000 other employment authorization documents promised to immigrants and nonimmigrants haven't been printed.
We are closely monitoring all client situations and encourage you to contact your attorney if you believe you have been affected by USCIS's failure to provide evidence of the legal status and work authorization. Your attorney may decide to file for a Writ of Mandamus to compel USCIS to issue your EAD. This can be done only after USCIS failed to issue the EAD within a reasonable time following the agency's approval of your employment authorization application.
What is a Writ of Mandamus?
A (writ of) mandamus is an order from a court to an inferior government official ordering the government official to properly fulfill their official duties or correct an abuse of discretion.
Your attorney can also contact the members of Congress and urging them to ensure that USCIS is funded but that such funding must be conditioned on key changes centered on transparency, fiscal responsibility, and efficiency. Also, request that Congress members support the bipartisan Case Backlog and Transparency Act of 2020 (H.R. 5971) to address crisis-level delays that are crippling the agency’s case processing.
Below you can see a list of examples where Mandamus can be used for each case:
Mandamus for moving I-130 appeal: From USCIS to BIA
“An appeal from a decision of a Service officer may be treated as a motion to reopen/reconsider by that Officer if the new decision will grant the benefit that has been requested in the appeal. The new decision must be served on the appealing party within 45 days of receipt of any briefs or upon expiration of the time allowed for the submission of any briefs. If the new decision is not served within these time limits or the appealing party does not agree that the new decision disposes of the matter, the record of the proceeding shall be immediately forwarded to the Board.” 8 CFR 1003.5(b)
Mandamus for proof of LPR status
Your attorney can request a writ of mandamus based on the 8 U.S.C. §1302 where states that every alien now or hereafter in the United States, who:
Is fourteen years of age or older,
Has not been registered and fingerprinted under section 1201(b) of this title or section 30 or 31 of the Alien Registration Act, 1940, and
Remains in the United States for thirty days or longer, must apply for registration and be fingerprinted before the expiration of such thirty days.
Further, the attorney can allege that under the 8 U.S.C § 1304(e), a LPR with more than 18 years old must keep green cards with him. Or that Criminal and civil penalty if knowingly hire unauthorized aliens or fail to comply with the verification process. - 8 U.S.C. §§ 1321a(a), 1321a(e) & (f).
Mandamus for I-751 adjudication
Defendant USCIS violates 8 CFR § 1216.4(c): the director shall adjudicate the petition within 90 days of the interview date.
Mandamus for EAD
Requires USCIS to adjudicate EAD applications within 90 days of the date of their receipt – If it fails to do so, USCIS must issue the applicant a temporary, interim EAD for no more than 240 days or until such time as the EAD application is adjudicated, as stated on 8 C.F.R. § 274a.13(d) (2009, amended 2017)
Mandamus for processing asylum applications
An applicant who is not otherwise eligible for employment authorization shall not be granted such authorization before 180 days after filing the application for asylum, as stated on 8 USC 1158(d)(5)(A)(iii)
Mandamus when N-648 medical exemption is denied
8 CFR 312.2(b)(2) requires USCIS send the applicant to a doctor if USCIS suspects the client is not covered by the N-648 exemption from naturalization testing – Refer the applicant to another authorized medical source for a supplemental disability determination when the Service has credible doubts about the veracity of a medical certification. It is important to remember that USCIS routinely denies N-648s without following this regulation.
What Our Office Is Doing:
We continue to monitor this system wide delay and routinely check the case status of all our cases to make sure no client is being denied their approved benefits. In this way, our clients are always informed of what is happening with their case and we can take immediate action if there is any kind delay. We also make sure that our cases are within the standard processing times listed by USCIS. In the event they are not, we create inquiries and Service Requests with USCIS for cases outside the normal processing times. Furthermore, when necessary, we take additional actions to make sure no client is left behind. If you believe you have been affected by this or any other kind of delay, please contact our office to seek a consultation. We are happy to provide free initial consultations for any and all immigration matters, including seeking second opinions for those already represented.
The Law Office of Nicholas J. Mireles is an experienced Los Angeles based U.S. Immigration law firm practicing immigration law since 2013. Our background makes us uniquely well suited to help you with any issue relating to your immigration status.
Law Office of Nicholas J. Mireles, APC
411 West 7th St. Ste 310 - Los Angeles, CA 90014