ABT Settlement Wins New Rights for Applicants
In 2013, settlement of a nationwide class action lawsuit (known as the ABT Settlement) filed against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and other federal immigration agencies resulted in new rights for asylum applicants facing removal.
The ABT lawsuit focused on questionable policies and practices used by EOIR (Executive Office for Immigration Review) and USCIS to administer the “asylum EAD clock” in removal proceedings.
Immigration agencies use the asylum EAD clock to calculate whether asylum applicants have satisfied the 180-day waiting period before they can be authorized for an asylum work permit or EAD (Employment Authorization Document).
Major Obstacles Removed for Asylum Applicants
The ABT Settlement has won resolution of five asylum EAD clock problems:
- An arbitrary rule stated that the 180-day countdown could only start if the asylum application was filed at an immigration court hearing.
Resolution: Now you can lodge an asylum application with an immigration court clerk, and that “lodged date” will start the EAD clock countdown.
- Policy allowed an immigration judge to stop the asylum EAD clock if an applicant couldn’t accept an expedited hearing just 14 days away.
Resolution: Now, if you aren’t detained, you must be offered a hearing date at least 45 days out so you can properly prepare for it.
- The EAD clock was stopped after the immigration judge denied an asylum application and wasn’t restarted even after a successful appeal and remand.
Resolution: Now the asylum clock restarts on the date the BIA (Board of Immigration Appeals) sends your case back to your immigration judge.
- Often asylum applicants were not properly notified of their right to reschedule an asylum interview with USCIS; consequently, their EAD clock was often stopped permanently.
Resolution: Now USCIS must mail a letter to you after a missed appointment explaining how that affects your work permit eligibility. You’ll have 45 days to show good cause for missing the interview.
- Asylum applicants were seldom told that certain decisions made at a preliminary hearing by an immigration judge could stop the 180-day countdown clock.
Resolution: Now Immigration Court must give you and your attorney written notice about how different adjournment codes can stop the asylum EAD clock and affect your eligibility for work authorization.
Helping Clients Obtain Asylum Work Permits in Los Angeles Area
Sassoun A. Nalbandian, expert immigration attorney at Nalbandian Law, has successfully represented asylum applicants in removal proceedings so that they are again eligible for obtaining their employment authorization documents.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
Call Nalbandian Law today, (818) 244-0310, or contact us online for a personal consultation with one of our expert immigration attorneys. We’ll review your asylum work permit situation and explain how our preparation will give you the best possible chance of obtaining your official Employment Authorization Document.