CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In response to the class action lawsuit filed by Chicago’s largest immigration firm, Azulay, Horn & Seiden, LLC, the federal government announced plans to reverse their misguided course of action and accept green card applications from skilled legal immigrants. With this decision, tens of thousands of immigrants who had thought their chances to become legal citizens were dashed will now be able to apply for permanent residency.
The State Department and Citizenship & Immigration Services (CIS) said they will now accept employment based petitions under the July Visa Bulletin, at the pre-fee increase rates until August 17, 2007. Applications already filed, which the agency planned to reject, will be accepted.
Earlier this summer, the State Department announced that eligible skilled workers could submit applications to become legal residents. However, on July 2, the government falsely claimed that green cards were no longer available because CIS had reduced its backlog of green card applications, and all properly submitted applications would be rejected. Thousands of immigrants who had taken the time and money to accurately complete their applications, trusting the government to keep to its word, were left in limbo or were forced to consider leaving the United States, as the distribution of green cards was indefinitely suspended.
While various organizations threatened to file suit, Azulay, Horn & Seiden was the first and only to file a complaint against the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, CIS, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, and Emilio Gonzalez and F. Gerard Heinauer of CIS. The representative plaintiff in the class action lawsuit was Chicagoan Gabriela Ptasinska, a native of Poland who is lawfully present in the United States on a non-immigrant visa, working as a land planner.
“Azulay, Horn & Seiden was happy to pave the way for the government’s reversal of its decision with our class action suit,” said Ira Azulay, firm CEO. “We are pleased that the State Department and CIS acknowledged their mistakes and are taking the appropriate steps to correct their mishaps. Now, deserving U.S. residents will have the opportunity to attain the citizenship they have worked so hard to achieve. We want to thank everyone who worked with us to achieve this result during this difficult process.”
The firm is reviewing the announcements and plans to move to dismiss the suit once it is confident that the government has followed through on its statements and it is confirmed that all potential plaintiffs will not suffer any harm as a result of this situation.
Mr. Azulay added “It is a shame that the federal government’s actions throughout this process leave everyone with such a low level of trust that we are unable to just accept their most recent statements and presume they will do what they say. We have to wait until they follow through to know they are serious.”
Mr. Azulay is available to speak to members of the media about this new development.
Azulay, Horn & Seiden, LLC (www.ahslaw.com) is Chicago’s largest immigration law firm and the fourth largest immigration firm in the country. AHS provides comprehensive U.S. immigration legal services for businesses and individuals (including visa petitions, green card services, consular assistance, naturalization proceedings, immigration representation in all U.S. Courts, and appellate work), immigration consulting to businesses, and immigration related legal services (e.g. family law, criminal law). Its main office is located at 205 N. Michigan Ave., 40th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601, with other offices in Florida, Wisconsin, and Manila, Philippines. For more information contact them at 312.832.9200 or by email at email@example.com.