Friday, November 24, 2006

Mudric: INS Delay Processing Asylum Claim Not Actionable

Mudric v. Gonzales, No. 05-2913 (3d Cir. Nov. 24, 2006).

In this precedential decision, the Third Circuit ruled that even if INS took an enormously long time for no justifiable reason to process an asylum claim and to process the application by Mr. Mudric's mother to obtain permanent legal permanent residence, there is no basis for him to complain to the court.

The Third Circuit takes a narrow view of when someone can complain about slow action by immigration authorities and no matter how slow INS was, there are no federal statutes or regulations that issue hard-and-fast deadlines for immigration rulings. Because non-citizens are at the mercy of the rights granted by Congress and the statutes do not list deadlines, they have no way to complain to the courts.

Although equitable estoppel can apply against the government in immigration cases, you must show the government made a misrepresentation that you relied upon to your detriment and that the government committed affirmative misconduct. Here, there was no affirmative misconduct for INS merely being exceptionally slow to rule on the applications(!)

Due process in asylum claims offers little protection. It merely requires that the IJ made fact findings they disclose to you, that you can make arguments on your behalf, and that the IJ makes an individualized ruling. It offers little other protection.


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