Recently, Attorney William Erb from the Office of Litigation, US Department of Justice called me. He is authorized to speak for all the defendants in our class action suit (on massive USCIS processing backlogs). We discussed a number of issues. He informed me that a summary of this lawsuit had been sent to several members of Congress. He mentioned that reduction of backlogs was a common sense prerequisite to immigration reform currently being considered by the White House and by Congress. We agreed that if Congress passes laws addressing the backlog issue, our lawsuit could become moot. I suggested that we meet with USCIS to discuss immediate remedial measures that would help ameliorate problems without massive overhaul in the statutory or regulatory framework. Based on feedback received, here are the following points that will be presented before the government. We want USCIS to:
1. Start premium processing of I-140ís; 2. All I-140ís pending over 180 days should be adjudicated immediately without premium processing fees; 3. Continue concurrent filing of I-140 and I-485; 4. Once the I-485 has been pending for 180 days, the applicants should receive a conditional approval of the green card evidenced by a stamp on the passport valid for 5 years, subject to revocation only on security grounds;
5. USCIS should provide public reports on agency workloads and priorities;
6. The phone system should be improved so meaningful information can be received;
7. We must be provided a method of getting binding, written opinions on AC21 and other regulatory issues on which no regulations are issued by USCIS within six months after enactment of a statute; and
8. We should be assured a community contact point for addressing recurring grievances. Can we settle on these bases?
Rajiv Khanna, Esq.
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