CLCMA is pleased to have co-counseled with tenacious attorney Ladan Mirbagheri-Smith in the successful Mandamus and APA litigation case for Mr. Manouchehr Jafarzadeh. We were able to join in her courageous fight against the systematic efforts of the USCIS, in concert with the FBI, to use their administrative authority to delay and deny Mr. Jafarzadeh’s application for lawful permanent residence. Mr. Jafarzadeh first applied permanent residence in 2002 in connection with his wife’s employment based application. USCIS refused to adjudicate this application for almost 8 years. Mr. Jafarzadeh then filed a second application in 2010 based on an immediate relative petition filed on his behalf by his now 21 year-old United States citizen daughter. The government, as is often the case, required him to withdraw his first application and then blocked his second application for over nine years in a pattern of harassment meant to discourage worthy individuals from asserting their rights to a fair immigration process. USCIS launched the delay of his application after years of aggressive efforts by the FBI’s relentless attempts to coerce Mr. Jafarzadeh into becoming an informant against the U.S. Iranian community in exchange for removing roadblocks to his application for adjustment of status. His refusal to become an FBI informant was followed by years of immigration case delay and unsubstantiated accusations against Mr. Jafarzadeh’s good character.
Ms. Mirbagheri-Smith and CLCMA’s joint Mandamus and APA litigation filed on Mr. Jafarzadeh’s behalf in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia forced USCIS to make a decision in his long pending Adjustment of Status application. But, USCIS surprised no one when its decision was to deny Mr. Jafarzadeh’s case and to place him into removal proceedings in an attempt to deport him. Aggressive lawyering and a clear presentation of the facts to the immigration court in Maryland led the immigration judge to grant Mr. Jafarzadeh’s lawful permanent residence after over a decade of waiting for a benefit he was already entitled to from USCIS. The immigration court’s order granting his lawful permanent residence truly vindicates Mr. Jafarzadeh from the unjust accusations made by the government. This was a remarkable victory drawing attention to the illegitimacy of the FBI and USCIS’s prolonged and systematic attacks opposing Mr. Jafarzadeh’s reasonable desire to live legally in the U.S.
Additionally, Ms. Mirbagheri-Smith and CLCMA’s efforts during these proceedings in bravely fighting injustice against otherwise eligible immigrants exposed how USCIS, in concert with the FBI, secretly uses the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program (“CARRP”) to subject immigration applicants to heightened scrutiny without cause. The court documents clearly show how CARRP was developed in secret and without public notice, then unfairly administered to applicants unwilling to cave to FBI intimidation. CLCMA is excited that the Jafarzadeh case now becomes a precedential federal court decision that can be used in the future cases to fight against USCIS’s use of CARRP that is disproportionately applied to Muslim applicants for immigration benefits. USCIS’s use of the unfair practice of applying CARRP to applicants who are similarly situated to Mr. Jafarzadeh understandably fuels a sense of a targeted effort to discourage members of the Muslim community from settling in the U.S. by creating a sense of uncertainty and terminal delay of immigration benefits.
We salute Mr. Jafarzadeh’s primary attorney, Ms. Ladan Mirbagheri-Smith who tenaciously and boldly fought for his rights. We are pleased and proud to have been able to co-counsel with her on this effort that will allow other immigrants to benefit from this judicial decision. CLCMA remains committed to battling to protect the constitutional rights of immigrants and to exposing the government’s secret use of CARRP and FBI intimidation as scare tactics targeting Muslims with a goal impeding immigrants from obtaining lawful immigration status. CLCMA will also fearlessly continue to expose and oppose the U.S. government’s efforts to separate Muslim families through its unfair practices, especially in its application of the CARRP and FBI harassment against the Muslim community. CLCMA’s win for Mr. Jafarzadeh in his quest to become a lawful permanent resident is also a win for his wife, Shahnaz Karami, previously granted lawful permanent residence after her own tough fight, their native-born U.S. citizen daughter who petitioned for both of her parents, and their two other native-born U.S citizen daughters who are now able to plan for their lives together in the United States.