Five people are suing the federal government alleging that an expanded national security screen targeting Muslims has led to lengthy delays and denials in their applications for citizenship and green cards.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California filed a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles Thursday alleging the government doesn't allow immigration officers to approve benefits for applicants deemed a national security concern under a 2008 program.

The ACLU says the Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program uses overly broad criteria and has tied up naturalization and green card applications filed by Palestinian, Iranian and Somali clients.

A message was left for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services seeking comment.