Recently, USCIS has had trouble sending employment authorization document (EAD) recipients their EADs, even though they were approved for it. Typically, it takes 48 hours after approval to get their physical EAD. However, many people are not getting theirs at all. That is extremely problematic for workers because without an EAD they are unable to work, which obviously has dire financial consequences.
Consequently, a class action lawsuit was filed against USCIS, requesting that the Court issue a mandatory temporary restraining order, writ of mandamus, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, and declaratory relief that essentially ensures that USCIS faithfully issues EADs to recipients immediately and within a week of the court’s order.
The lawsuit’s arguments are based on a couple of ideas. The first is that USCIS is unlawfully delaying the issuance of EADs and is not carrying out their part. The big reason why EAD orders are being backed up is because USCIS previously had an agreement with a third party that works on making these EADs. However, that agreement expired yet USCIS has not found an alternative source to keep up with EAD production. That is unlawful.
The second argument is based on the Constitution through the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment. The due process clause can be summarized thus: “No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” In this case, the plaintiffs, those deprived of their rightful EADs, have a liberty interest in the right to lawful employment which is being denied by USCIS.
All in all, the class action lawsuit filed will hopefully succeed and EADs will start being handed out accordingly.