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Immigrants file lawsuit against US government over delay in citizenship bids

[JURIST] Ten permanent resident immigrants sued the federal government on Tuesday, arguing that their naturalization applications have been unnecessarily delayed by "the bureaucratic failings and callous inaction" of the FBI and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) [official website] in delaying "name checks" required before applications can be granted. The lawsuit [PDF complaint], filed by the Council for American-Islamic Relations and the American Civil Liberties Union [press releases] on behalf of the ten plaintiffs, asks the federal court to review their citizenship applications and grant them citizenship. Plaintiffs argue that under 8 U.S.C. 1447(b) [text], the federal courts may grant citizenship requests when USCIS has delayed their response to an application for more than 120 days. All plaintiffs in the suit have been waiting more than two years to hear back from USCIS.

The lawsuit also seeks class action status to represent all those immigrants whose applications have been delayed for longer than six months. A USCIS spokesperson said fewer than one percent of applications are delayed for longer than six months. AP has more.

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