Wednesday, December 28

Federal Court Orders Department of Homeland Security to Issue Proof of Lawful Status to Permanent Residents

This strikes me as an interesting case. I find it interesting that I had heard nothing of it until now. I don't know the details, so I won't say I agree with the Court order or not. One thing I do know is that our immigration system does take much to long to process requests. These delays are hurting families, and destroying marriages. Bolding of text is mine for enphasis.

PR Newswire has the story.
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal court issued a permanent injunction against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ordering the agency to provide documentation of lawful status ("green cards") to a nationwide class of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who have been denied such proof for months and, in many cases, years. The December 22, 2005 order by U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of the Northern District of California added teeth to her August 2005 summary judgment ruling, in which she held that the DHS's policy of withholding documentation from persons already determined to be LPRs by Immigration Courts was arbitrary and capricious, and violated the DHS's nondiscretionary duty to issue documentation in a timely manner.
If this is accurate, then I am glad the court ruled this way. Once an applicant has been approved, there should be no reason to delay the process. If there are security concerns, then the applicant should not be approved until these are resolved in a quick and effective manner.

The article also had this to say.
The lawsuit, Santillan, et al. v. Gonzales, et al., was filed in federal district court in San Francisco in July 2004. The class action suit charged that DHS offices nationwide are consistently rejecting and delaying lawful permanent residents' requests for documentation of their LPR status. Green card delays, which have lasted from months to years, have created serious hardships for immigrants and their families.

The Department of Homeland Security has 60 days from the entry of the injunction to file an appeal.