AILA Quicktake #303: AILA and Wasden Banias Litigate L-2 and H-4 Processing Delays

On March 22, 2021, AILA and Wasden Banias, LLP filed a class action lawsuit against DHS challenging the processing delays on extensions of status and EADs for L-2 and H-4 visas. Jesse Bless, AILA’s Director of Federal Litigation, explains the choice to litigate and what he expects to see next.


Video Transcript

Last evening, AILA and co-counsel John Wasden and Brad Banias filed a class-action lawsuit in the Western District of Washington on behalf of L-2 and H-4 nonimmigrants who are suffering egregious processing delays for extensions of status and work authorization.

John Wasden and Brad Banias have really taken this issue on over the last year as the processing delays increased and increased, and expected that the new administration may adopt swift policies to take action against what really was a political situation, through the imposition of biometrics, through just non-action against these applications for work authorization whether it's an extension of work authorization or just an extension of status.

You know, there's 91 000 people out there suffering from what is a fixable problem. They are spouses of H-1B and L-1 managers who are highly skilled, who have jobs, who are contributing to American society in every which way. They're entitled and deserve to be working and that's the reason why AILA and Wasden Banias have joined forces to file a class action. Because the problem has gone on too long.

We hope, through the filing of this lawsuit, the administration will come to the table and adopt flexible measures that allow these people to go back to work within 30 to 60 days. It really should happen immediately, there's no need for biometrics, there's no need for these ridiculous 18 months of processing delays where it takes maybe 10 minutes to approve, this is the government's information, 10 minutes to approve the employment authorization or extension of status.

So, what's next? Well, we filed our class action and we're going to keep fighting the good fight and file maybe an injunction in the near term if the administration does not take swift action and come to the table and meet us halfway.

That's all we're asking for because the people who are now on furlough, who are not receiving a paycheck, who are not able to drive they deserve immediate relief.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 21032304.