On August 25, 2000 plaintiffs brought this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, challenging the pace of the INS' processing of applications for benefits under the Family Unity Program, § 301 of the Immigration Act of 1990. The Family Unity ...
read more >
On August 25, 2000 plaintiffs brought this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, challenging the pace of the INS' processing of applications for benefits under the Family Unity Program, § 301 of the Immigration Act of 1990. The Family Unity program allowed the spouses and children of permanent residents who legalized through the 1986 amnesty program to remain and work in the U.S.
Plaintiffs alleged that the INS' California Service Center was not processing applications for Family Unity status in a timely manner such that a two-year backlog of applications accrued. Plaintiffs were represented by the American Immigration Law Foundation, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, and National Immigration Law Center. They asserted claims under § 301 of the Immigration Act of 1990; the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.; the Mandamus Act, 28 U.S.C. §1361; the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. §1651; the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. §2201; and the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. §701 et seq.
On December 14, 2000, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification. Shortly thereafter, the parties began settlement negotiations. Case hearings were continued and eventually the Court entered an order staying all case activity pending submission of a settlement agreement.
On October 28, 2002 the District Court for (Judge Alicemarie H. Stotler) issued an order approving the settlement agreement and certified the case as a class action. The class was defined to include "[a]ll applicants for Family Unity Benefits under Section 301 of the Immigration Act of 199, whose applications are pending at the California Service Center on the date of the Court's final approval of this agreement or are filed with or transferred to the California Service Center during the 15 months will be in effect."
Under settlement agreement the INS agreed to devote sufficient resources towards the adjudication of initial applications for Family Unity benefits filed with the California Service Center and agreed to implement other changes in its processing procedures. The Agreement was to last 15 months, during which time the Court would retained jurisdiction over the case for purpose of enforcing the Agreement.
In 2004, the Court dismissed the case at plaintiffs' request as the defendants had satisfied their obligations under the AgreementKatie Goodenberger - 06/22/2007