Muslim group claims ‘unexplained’ delays for asylum seekers

CHICAGO (AP) – A Muslim civil rights organization in Chicago is suing federal immigration officials over “unexplained and indefinite delays” that seven asylum seekers have faced in their bid to stay legally in the United States.

Phil Robertson with the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said in a Monday statement that the individuals from Syria, Jordan, Yemen and Egypt face persecution or even death if they return to their home countries because of political unrest.

The group filed a federal lawsuit in Chicago earlier this summer against U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, seeking a timeline and damages. The lawsuit says the asylum seekers filed their cases over three years ago.

USCIS spokeswoman Genevieve Billia declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

The lawsuit comes as the Trump administration has taken several steps to curb asylum.

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