With the President‘s proclamation of Buy American-Hire American and with “no tolerance” declarations coming from Homeland Security and the Attorney General, the immigration service (USCIS) has been issuing illogical decisions in many cases which fail to follow the rule of law.
Our immigration system is based on laws and federal regulations. As a Board Certified Immigration lawyer I am hearing reports from immigrants and their attorneys across the country that the government is ignoring the law and denying otherwise approvable immigration cases. In cases of legal immigrants that were previously approved, such as non-immigrant investors, intra-company transfers and other temporary workers these people are seeing their renewal applications denied. The law has not changed, but the government is too often choosing to ignore the law or otherwise is giving the law a skewed interpretation never seen in historical precedent.
At my office, this Houston immigration lawyer and immigration lawyer has seen cases based on clear evidence being denied. The USCIS in many cases is completely ignoring the evidence and denying cases with no reasonable or logical explanation, thereby making a mockery of the rule of law. I am seeing this trend across the board, from deportation cases, to business immigration cases, to immigration marriage cases and to student visa cases. It is also seeping into the political asylum process and every other type of immigration case.
It used to be that if a case is mistakenly denied or denied because the government overlooked certain evidence, a person could file a Motion to Reopen or Motion to Reconsider. Unfortunately, that process is also being made into a mockery. Either the USCIS chooses to ignore such motions to fix a denial, by letting them sit there for years with no decision (while the person remains subject to deportation while waiting), or they deny the motion on improper and wrong technical grounds without considering the merits of the motion. At this point, I often tell my clients not to bother with such motions.
What is an American spouse or sponsoring company to do when they follow all the rules and receive an unfair decision? For years, the final answer for my clients has been litigation. For many years, I have filed lawsuits against Homeland Security and other government agencies for wrongful denials of immigration cases. While these have been few and far between over the years, the recent uptick in illogical, unfair, and, dare I say-illegal-denials, warrants the need for more immigration lawsuits to be brought.
Ultimately, a federal judge has the ability to order the reversal of a decision if it is arbitrary, capricious or not in accordance with the law. I encourage immigrants, non-immigrant workers, companies, American spouses of foreign nationals, immigrant students and others to challenge these improper denials by taking their cases to federal court and asking a federal judge to consider the evidence (something that USCIS is all-to-often failing to do).