National Security Issues Delay Green Card

Many times, an individual applying for asylum in the USA, may have been a member of a political action group abroad. While such individuals may get asylum in the USA and be permitted to live here, how do they get a green card?

Once an individual has lived as an asylee/refugee in the USA for at least one year, they may apply for a green card. In order to get a green card, they must pass certain background checks. Interestingly, the same membership in a political action group that warranted their getting asylum, can now cause them to have problems in getting a green card.

Our office recently handled a case for a man from the nation of Cameroon. He was a member of a rebel group seeking democratic changes. Unfortunately, the USA government had his rebel group on a list of terrorist organizations. This caused a huge delay when he tried to get a green card. In fact, such delays are a nationwide problem.

In my client’s case, he waited over 6 years before seeking help from my office. The immigration service now has a special officer in most cities, who is in charge of national security cases like this. The special officer will conduct the interview and then do a report to a supervisor and legal counsel, and that team will decide if the individual gets a green card or is denied for national security reasons. This process can take years.

Some proven ways to dislodge a delayed green card case in thus situation is to enlist the help of a Congressman, or hire an attorney, or file a lawsuit to compel action. In the case of our client from Cameroon, he just recently received his green card, about 7 months after he hired our law firm.

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Bruce Coane is a leading lawyer with 30 years of experience in the field of immigration law and employment law. He may be reached via email at houstonlaw@aol.com or his website at Coane and Associates.

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