AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA and Wasden Banias, LLP File Lawsuit Against DHS for L-2 and H-4 Processing Delays

George Tzamaras,
Tessa Wiseman,

WASHINGTON, DC – Last night, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and Wasden Banias, LLP filed a class action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) challenging the extraordinary processing delays on extensions of status and extensions of employment authorization documents (EAD) for H-4 and L-2 nonimmigrant spouses.

According to Jennifer Minear, President of AILA, “The delays that H-4 and L-2 nonimmigrants are facing needlessly place families in financial limbo. DHS has the legal tools and authority to grant work authorization to impacted individuals whose financial security is hanging in the balance, and it should immediately begin to use those tools to provide solutions. DHS can and must revoke the unnecessary biometrics requirements for H-4 and L-2 nonimmigrants, provide automatic work authorization while DHS processes EAD renewal requests, and allow EAD applicants to file their renewal applications sooner than 180 days prior to EAD expiration to prevent gaps in work authorization.”

Jesse Bless, AILA’s Director of Federal Litigation, added, “In 2019, the Trump administration implemented a new biometrics requirement for H-4 and L-2 and other dependents seeking to extend their stay in the U.S. These new requirements added to the already extraordinary processing delays—delays that COVID-19 restrictions further exacerbated. The process to attain work authorization should not put families at risk of immense loss of income and instability. There are reasonable and immediate steps that DHS can take to make certain that visa holders meet requirements without imposing needless suffering. We hope to work with the government on immediate solutions to get these individuals back working.”


The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.