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Bizuru v. USCIS: Challenging discretionary denials in refugee applications

IRAP filed a case on behalf of three Congolese families who applied and were approved for resettlement to the United States as refugees only to have their travel abruptly canceled and their refugee cases discretionarily denied without explanation.

Case background

This case involve three families who fled from violent conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo to Kenya as refugees. After they completed the lengthy process necessary to qualify for resettlement in the Unites States—including biometrics, interviews, security vetting, cultural orientations, and health screenings—they were approved for travel to in the U.S in 2016. Full of hope, the families made preparations to start their lives anew in the U.S., vacating their homes in Kenya and selling their belongings. However, on the eve of their scheduled travel, they were informed without explanation that their travel plans were canceled. The families waited for years in uncertainty before the U.S. government finally issued a status update on their cases: all of their previously-approved refugee cases were now denied, “as a matter of discretion.” Administrative appeals of these denials have now been pending for at least 5 years.


This case seeks to challenge the sudden and inadequately explained denials of the three families’ refugee applications, securing them another, fairer chance at resettlement and establishing precedent for fairness in the refugee resettlement process.

Case status

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