Congratulations to RCIA for this landmark decision. Hope it helps many who are suffering after having offered their lives to the United States.
FEDERAL COURT RULES IN FAVOR OF IRAQI AND AFGHAN ALLIES SUING U.S. GOVERNMENT OVER FAILURE TO ACT ON VISA APPLICATIONS
Decision reaffirms Government’s obligations to thousands of U.S. allies trapped in life-threatening circumstances as a result of their service
Washington, D.C., February 16, 2016 – In a landmark ruling that could affect thousands of Afghan and Iraqi allies who risked their lives supporting U.S. troops, a federal district court in Washington D.C. has denied the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit that seeks to have the U.S. Government act on long-delayed visa applications of Iraqis and Afghans who worked to support U.S. troops, including as interpreters, and often under fire.
Through the bipartisan Refugee Crisis in Iraq Act (RCIA) of 2007 and Afghan Allies Protection Act (AAPA) of 2009, the U.S. Congress made Iraqis and Afghans under threat because of their service to the United States eligible for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). Recognizing the danger faced by the United States’ Iraqi and Afghan allies, Congress directed the Departments of State and Homeland Security to complete processing of such applications within no more than nine months, absent exceptional circumstances. The nine Plaintiffs currently participating in the lawsuit have been trapped in Iraq or Afghanistan while waiting for the U.S. Government to act on their applications for between one and-a-half to more than six years.