While these cases have more challenges than other areas of mandamus lawsuits, they can still work. To be on the conservative side, we prefer bringing these cases where the waits are on the longer side. Typically, the delay would be beyond 4 years.
This well-written conclusion from an AIC Practice Advisory sums up the prevailing wisdom nicely:
“Unreasonable delays in asylum adjudications have severe and long lasting consequences for asylum applicants. Legally sound and compelling arguments exist that courts have the power to compel agency action under the mandamus statute and/or the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), although, as in any suit, there are challenges that a plaintiff will need to overcome. The mere filing of a mandamus complaint in federal district court may, in some cases, spur an agency decision. Deserving asylum applicants should consider a mandamus complaint as part of their legal strategy in obtaining resolution of their claim.”