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Al Salihi v. Blinken: Challenging the delays in adjudicating I-730/follow-to-join petitions of an Iraqi family

This case, filed against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the United States Department of State, is one in a series of cases in which IRAP is representing refugee families who are seeking to reunite in the United States. 

Our client

Our client, Rasha Al Salihi, is an Iraqi refugee who fled her home country with her daughter Rose after Rasha lost her father to insurgent violence. Her husband—Rose’s father—was unable to leave with them to the United States. The family submitted an I-730 Refugee/Asylee Petition for family reunification in October 2017, but despite making every effort to comply with USCIS’ requests pertaining to their petition, it remained pending for several years.

Impact

Following the filing of this lawsuit, USCIS finally approved the family’s petition in July 2023. However, Rasha’s wait is far from over. Her application must pass through additional processing stages, which are administered by the State Department on behalf of USCIS. Rasha has been waiting over six years to reunite with her husband, whose continued presence in Iraq places him in danger from violence, such as the violence visited upon Rasha’s father when he was killed by insurgents, as well as serious medical conditions he suffers from.

Case status

The Court denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss the case.

  • April 19, 2023: Case is filed.
  • August 21, 2023: Plaintiffs file an amended version of their complaint.
  • September 5, 2023: Following the approval of the family’s I-730 petition in July, Defendants file a motion to dismiss, arguing that the case should be terminated.
  • October 6, 2023: Plaintiff files its opposition to Defendants’ motion to dismiss, arguing that DHS is responsible for the entire follow-to-join refugee process and that the litigation should be allowed to proceed until Rasha’s husband is admitted to the US or denied admission.
  • October 16, 2023: Defendants file their reply to Plaintiff’s opposition to their motion to dismiss.
  • November 17, 2023: The Court denies Defendants’ motion to dismiss, recognizing DHS’s responsibility for the entire I-730 refugee process, including the portion that it outsources to the State Department.

Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP and Theodora Oringher PC are co-counsel in this case.

Follow the Case

  • August 21, 2023 Plaintiff’s amended complaint

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  • September 5, 2023 Defendants’ motion to dismiss

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  • October 6, 2023 Plaintiff’s opposition to Defendants’ motion to dismiss

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  • October 16, 2023 Defendants’ reply to Plaintiff’s opposition

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  • November 17, 2023 Court’s order denying Defendants’ motion to dismiss

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