AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

Litigation Team Sues Biden Administration’s State Department as Agency Unlawfully Refuses to Issue Visas

4/8/21 AILA Doc. No. 21040836. Admissions & Border, Consular Processing

 For Immediate Release

Belle Woods, AILA, 202-507-7675,
George Tzamaras, AILA, 202-507-7649,
Jalisa McGaha, Siskind Susser PC, 901-682-6455,

WASHINGTON D.C. –– Today, scores of plaintiffs, including individuals, organizations, and employers from across the U.S. and around the globe, represented by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Jeff Joseph of Joseph and Hall PC, Charles Kuck of Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC, and Greg Siskind of Siskind Susser PC, filed a complaint against Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, alleging that he and the Department of State have unlawfully refused to issue visas because of temporary travel bans restricting the entry of individuals who have been present in certain countries.

AILA Director of Federal Litigation Jesse Bless stated, “Courts have repeatedly told the Department of State that it cannot adopt a no visa policy when the President suspends the entry of individuals by Proclamation. The failure of the agency in this instance is particularly egregious because individuals who obtain a visa can enter the country after they go to another country and quarantine for 14 days. The agency has regretfully been unwilling to consider the concerns raised by AILA and our members’ clients. This litigation is due to that refusal to recognize the unlawfulness of the no visa policy.”

Charles Kuck added, “We have begged, urged, pleaded, and successfully sued the Department of State to stop denying visa adjudication to visa applicants just because there is a INA 212(f) entry ban in place. Despite repeatedly be chastised by the Courts, the State Department has refused to do the right thing and adjudicate all visas. So, the Department has forced our hand. We will win. We will win quickly, and we will banish this unlawful practice to the ash heap of history before it hurts thousands of more people.”

Jeff Joseph, counsel for the Plaintiffs stated, “Through Executive Orders, the Trump Administration and now President Biden has been keeping families separated, keeping desperate employers from obtaining global talent, and otherwise holding the entire visa system hostage based on an unlawful abuse of authority. There are many ways of dealing with the COVID crisis, and the Department of State has the resources to do something more creative and reasonable than to simply shut down the Consulates. Unfortunately, as Consulates refuse to issue visas based on these Proclamations, the backlogs have grown to historic levels. Unless a court intervenes, plaintiffs are looking at years before they will get the chance to enter the U.S.”