Three immigration attorneys have filed suit to speed resolution of thousands of non-amnesty legalization cases backlogged in the district office of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Officials and attorneys blame the backlog on the fact that the INS has shifted its most experienced officers to the new amnesty program for illegal aliens.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court by private attorneys Howard Hom, Ron Gotcher and Roger Gleckman on behalf of 49 immigrants. Most of them have had cases pending for six months to two years, but one dates back 3 1/2 years, Hom said.
The backlog has affected applications for registry, a cheap, supposedly quick alternative to amnesty available only to undocumented aliens who have lived in the United States since Jan. 1, 1972. Amnesty applies to aliens who can prove that they have lived in the United States since Jan. 1, 1982.