From today’s edition of Bender’s Immigration Bulletin… the United States District Court in the Western District of Washington granted mandamus to an applicant for permanent residence after a wait of over three years on his FBI name check. Now, USCIS has 60 days to grant adjustment of status or show why he shouldn’t receive his green card.
Mandamus relief (from the Latin, “we command”) as the court states, is available in federal court in an immigration context, when a government official has not performed a “duty owed to the plaintiff.” In this case, the court considered the FBI’s delay in processing the name check to be unreasonable, and ordered a swift resolution to the case. This is a great form of relief in cases with serious delays. I am aware of many cases in which people have filed applications for permanent residence during the last 245(i) period, prior to April 30, 2001, who are still waiting on their green cards - mandamus relief could be a big help to many people in similar situations.