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Migrants sue over wait for their files to fight deportation

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Immigrants are accusing the U.S. government of failing to promptly give them their own immigration documents, hampering their ability to fight deportation and apply for citizenship.

Two immigrants and three attorneys filed a lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in San Francisco.

They say they are seeking class-action status for thousands of people who have been waiting more than 30 business days for their immigration records from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Advocates say immigrants need the files to review details in their own immigration histories to defend themselves against deportation and apply for asylum, green cards and citizenship.

The lawsuit comes as advocates decry lengthy backlogs in naturalization applications, asylum filings and the immigration courts.

The Department of Homeland Security didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Amy Taxin, The Associated Press