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Last updateThu, 19 Sep 2019 12am







    Wednesday, September 18, 2019-5:26:32A.M.






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Widow sues US officials over pending immigration petition

A WIDOW of an American citizen has sued U.S. government officials over her pending immigration petition, saying she has been waiting three years for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to issue a decision.

Jun Cui Seman, through attorney Samuel I. Mok, filed the lawsuit in the District Court for the NMI on Thursday.

Seman is seeking an order from the federal court directing USCIS to issue a decision on her pending I-360 petition as the widow of a U.S. citizen and I-485 application for adjustment of status.

Mok said his client has been waiting three years for a decision after the adjustment-of-status interview on Aug. 18, 2014, and that no further requests for information were ever issued by USCIS.

Seman sued Robert M. Cowan, USCIS director for the National Benefits Center in Missouri; David Gulick, USCIS director for district 26 which has jurisdiction over Hawaii, Guam and the CNMI; USCIS acting Director James McCament; U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly; and U.S. Attorney General Jefferson Sessions.

Seman is suing them in their official capacities.

According to Mok, USCIS does not provide any administrative mechanism to address unreasonable delays in adjudicating an I-360 petition or an I-485 application for adjustment of status.

Mok said Seman attempted to find out what the cause of delay in the adjudication of her petition was, but received no other response than being told her file was with the USCIS office on Guam.

Mok said Seman tried to obtain relief by calling USCIS National Customer Service Hotline numerous times, making appointments with the Saipan USCIS office and sending correspondence, but USCIS failed to act, the lawyer added.

Mok said his client became the lawful wife of Enrique Kaipat Seman on Sept. 6, 2012. On May 29, 2014 her husband passed away.

On June 30, 2014 the widow filed a self petition I-360 to have herself classified as a widow of a U.S. citizen. On Aug. 18, 2014 she appeared for an interview on her I-360 petition.

Mok said despite the passage of three years, the petitioner has not received any further communication from USCIS regarding her I-360 petition.

Mok said the delay is inherently unreasonable and inexplicable. The issuance of a decision after an I-360 petition interview has been conducted without the need for further information usually takes two to three weeks, he added.

“It is highly unusual and unreasonable for USCIS to conduct an I-360 petition interview then wait three years without making any decision whatsoever.”

By doing so, Mok said, the USCIS has placed the petitioner in administrative “limbo” that has caused her unnecessary anxiety and stress.

He said his client is also in imminent danger of being removed from the U.S. by Immigration and Customs Enforcement because she does not have any legal status.

The lack of a decision on Mrs. Seman’s I-360 petition is directly and solely attributable to the neglect and/or wrongful indifference of USCIS and is not attributable in any way to the petitioner, her lawyer said.