If you are seeking basic insight into how judges determine whether an immigration delay is unreasonable in mandamus/APA lawsuits, the foundational decision to examine is Telecommunications Research & Action Center v. FCC, 750 F.2d 70 (D.C. Cir. 1984), commonly referred to as “TRAC.”
This decision established a six factor test that courts consider when assessing the reasonableness of an agency delay. These factors, known as the TRAC factors, provide an analytical framework that most courts use. The TRAC factors include:
1. The time agencies take to make decisions must be governed by a “rule of reason”;
2. Where Congress has provided a timetable or other indication of the speed with which it expects the agency to proceed in the enabling statute, that statutory scheme may supply content for this rule of reason;
3. Delays that might be reasonable in the sphere of economic regulation are less tolerable when human health and welfare are at stake;
4. The court should consider the effect of expediting delayed action on agency activities of a higher or competing priority;
5. The court should also take into account the nature and extent of the interests prejudiced by delay; and
6. The court need not find any impropriety lurking behind agency lassitude in order to hold that agency action is unreasonably delayed.