On June 28, 2006, individuals residing in New York State who properly filed their immigration naturalization papers filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), ...
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On June 28, 2006, individuals residing in New York State who properly filed their immigration naturalization papers filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), alleging that the federal government had a custom and practice of failing to grant or deny the plaintiffs' applications for naturalization within 120 days of their initial examinations, and of unlawfully withholding and unreasonably delaying the adjudication of applications for naturalization. The plaintiffs alleged that in addition to not processing naturalization applications within 120 days, the government also failed to complete criminal background checks within a reasonable time, therefore denying them substantial and unique benefits of citizenship such as the right to vote, the right to obtain passports, and the right to file visa petitions for family members. The complaint asserted violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C 1447(b), and the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 706(1).
The plaintiffs, who were represented by attorneys for the New York Legal Assistance Group, requested a preliminary injunction and class certification. The government moved to dismiss the case and to sever the claims of the individual plaintiffs into separate cases.
The District Court (Judge Edward R. Korman) denied the defendants' motion to dismiss on November 2, 2006, except as to one plaintiff whose naturalization was to be granted by CIS. The Court also denied the plaintiffs' motion for class certification and the defendants' motion to sever as premature because discovery was not complete.
On July 3, 2008, the parties reached a settlement agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, the defendants agreed to adjudicate at least 90% of the naturalization applications that had been pending in the Eastern District of New York for at least 120 days on or before August 25, 2008. They further agreed to provide reports to the plaintiffs regarding the details of their actions before September 2, 2008.
This case is now closed.Miles Chan - 07/21/2007
Allison Hight - 03/19/2016