It has been known for USCIS to delay and deny immigration cases based on an applicant’s religion, national origin, or prior group affiliations. Their institutional bias is known to be particularly high for applicants who are Muslim or from Muslim-majority countries.
The Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America, grant funded by the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), recently represented a Muslim brother, whose naturalization application was failing to make progress at the United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS), even after being interviewed in 2011.
As with many other Muslims, USCIS placed our brother’s application in the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program, CARRP, which works to identify applicants for immigration benefits that also pose a national security risk.
The CLCMA’s intervention revealed that USCIS still withheld the decision on his citizenship application for many years, despite being unsuccessful in attempting to tie our brother to a political opinion believed to present a security risk to the U.S.
The USCIS officer who conducted a second interview openly stated the delay was unjustified, and that the case should have been approved immediately. USCIS administered his oath of allegiance a few weeks later.
Kathryn H. Brady, CLCMA Immigration Department Head said, “USCIS should not need more than nine years to approve a case, especially when it never alleged that it found any derogatory information. This discrimination by USCIS was solely based on our client’s nationality and religion. That is illegal. I am pleased that USCIS finally chose to follow the law by granting his application without further unfair tactics.”
CLCMA’s Constant Commitment to the Case brought Justice
Our Muslim American brother’s thought on CLCMA’s representation of his citizenship application, “I really appreciate CLCMA’s help in my case. CLCMA understands not only the rule of law but how Muslims are being targeted and discriminated against by the U.S. government. By standing up for the rule of law, CLCMA is doing a valuable and unique service to the country and the community. I fully support the critical work of CLCMA in fighting against discrimination by the government against the Muslim community.”
It has been a long ten years of wait, but CLCMA’s resilient involvement with our brother’s case allowed him to become a U.S. citizen just in time to register to vote in the federal election. Our brother was relieved to reach this momentous milestone and expressed how it will be life-changing. Trips to visit family that have been postponed, career advancement previously on hold, and a lifelong dream to guide others to pilgrimage are now real possibilities. Alhamdulillah.