Pakistanis lose initial challenge to ‘secret’ immigration denial

Two Pakistani immigrants have lost their initial bid for the government to reopen their denied applications for permanent residency, with a district judge ruling their request for injunctive relief against a “secret” policy designed to withhold permanent resident status from certain immigrants is premature.

Dr. Bilal K. Siddiqui and Bushra Siddiqui are Pakistan natives legally living in Indiana with green cards along with their three children, who are United States citizens. The couple filed I-485 forms, which are Applications to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, but were denied.

According to the complaint, the Siddiquis alleged U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service improperly denied their applications under a secret policy known as the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program, or CARRP. They allege CARRP allows USCIS to deny permanent resident status to applicants who are determined to pose a “national security concern,” which is defined as a person who is determined to be a “known or suspected terrorist.”

The Siddiquis claim CARRP violates the Immigration and Nationality Act, as well as the arbitrary and capricious and notice-and-comment provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act and their procedural due process rights under the Fifth Amendment. They sought to have their I-485 applications reopened and to enjoin the enforcement of CARRP against them, but Indiana Southern District Judge William T. Lawrence denied those requests as premature Thursday.

“The Defendants contend that such relief is improper because ‘[i]t essentially seeks the ultimate relief they request in their lawsuit — reopening and reconsideration of their adjustment applications,’” Lawrence wrote. “… Indeed, the Defendants are correct in their assertion — the Plaintiffs seek such an injunction in their prayer for relief, in addition to declaratory and injunctive relief preventing the application of CARRP from any future applications for immigration benefits the Plaintiffs may file.”

“… To provide the permanent relief the Plaintiffs seek at this juncture would be premature, Lawrence wrote, denying the preliminary injunction in Bilal K. Siddiqui, et al. v. L. Francis Cissna, Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, et al., 1:18-cv-2474.

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