The Constitutional Law Center for Muslims in America (CLCMA), funded by the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), successfully fought for the rights of Mr. Manouchehr Jafarzadeh to become a lawful permanent resident. The CLCMA co-counseled with the attorney Ladan Mirbagheri-Smith on this case.
Mr. Jafarzadeh first applied for permanent residence in 2002 in the United States based on his wife’s employment application. He was kept waiting for 8 years for his first application. In 2010, Mr. Jafarzadeh applied a second time for permanent residence, based this time on his adult daughter’s U.S. citizenship. Again, he was kept waiting more than 9 years for his second application. The United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) didn’t deny his application but “refused to adjudicate it”. This means that they kept him in limbo for more than 17 years. Can you imagine waiting 17 years without the ability to make any coherent plans for the future? Can you imagine waiting 17 years wondering if you may be forcibly separated from your family?
This is what I found disturbing:
The case reveals a “pattern of harassment meant to discourage worthy individuals from asserting their rights to a fair immigration process”. This is a systematic application of processes to discourage immigrants, especially from Muslim countries, from applying for legal residence. It’s a kind of Muslim ban by default. This represents “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”.
Mr. Jafarzadeh was relentlessly approached by the FBI with demands that he become an FBI informant against his community. This is not uncommon. If you refuse to work for the FBI, they may apply various forms of pressure. In Mr. Jafarzadeh’s case, he was threatened with imprisonment and deportation. “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”
Not only did our lawyers successfully achieve legal permanent residence for Mr. Jafarzadeh (Yay!). They also set a precedent for future cases in which eligible immigrants will have the opportunity to request legal permanent residence with significantly less intimidation and fewer barriers overall.
“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.”
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