Immigration Processing Delays Prompt Record Number of Mandamus Lawsuits in Federal Court

In response to significant delays in immigration processing, the federal government is witnessing an unprecedented surge in immigration-related civil lawsuits filed in federal court. Mandamus lawsuits, specifically, have become increasingly prevalent, accounting for a substantial portion of the overall immigration suits. This article explores the rise in mandamus lawsuits, the factors contributing to this trend, and the implications for immigration applicants seeking timely resolution.

A Sharp Increase in Immigration Lawsuits:
The data from federal civil courts reveals a remarkable growth in immigration-related lawsuits. In February 2023, a record-breaking 943 immigration-related lawsuits were recorded, marking the highest number for any single month to date. From October 2022 to February 2023, a total of 4,175 civil immigration filings were documented, indicating a projected annual total exceeding 10,000 cases. Mandamus lawsuits, in particular, have experienced a significant surge, accounting for the majority of immigration suits.

Mandamus Lawsuits Gain Prominence:
The rise in mandamus lawsuits can be attributed to escalating government delays in processing various immigration applications, particularly by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Attorneys are increasingly filing mandamus lawsuits to compel the government to take action on their clients’ cases. The delay in rendering decisions on essential waivers necessary for Lawful Permanent Resident status, for instance, has led to a class action lawsuit against USCIS.

Acknowledging Delays and Resource Constraints:
USCIS has acknowledged the growing delays in recent years, citing the global pandemic and resource constraints as contributing factors. In a public statement issued in March 2022, USCIS identified the backlog resulting from the pandemic and under-resourcing during the previous administration. These delays have prompted attorneys to seek legal remedies such as mandamus lawsuits.

The Impact of Mandamus Lawsuits:
The surge in immigration lawsuits has surpassed previous projections, indicating that current estimates may again fall short of reality. Mandamus lawsuits have become a prominent tool for addressing delays and procedural complaints against the federal government. Alongside mandamus lawsuits, other immigration actions related to procedural matters have also seen substantial growth, highlighting dissatisfaction with the administration of immigration-related matters.

Implications and Significance:
The unprecedented increase in mandamus lawsuits reflects the frustration and urgency among immigration applicants seeking timely resolution. These lawsuits not only aim to expedite the processing of immigration cases but also serve as a means to hold government agencies accountable. The record number of immigration lawsuits filed in federal court emphasizes the need for reform and efficient immigration processes.

The surge in mandamus lawsuits for delayed immigration cases has reached unprecedented levels, reflecting the pressing need for timely resolution and accountability. As immigration applicants face prolonged delays, they increasingly turn to the legal system to seek justice. The implications of this trend extend beyond individual cases, highlighting systemic issues and the urgency for immigration process improvements. With the record-breaking number of immigration lawsuits filed in federal court, it is evident that the pursuit of justice and expedited resolution remains a top priority for those navigating the complex immigration system.

“Immigration Processing Delays Prompt Record Number of Mandamus Lawsuits in Federal Court.” TRAC Reports, 15 May 2023,

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