Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Federal District Court Enjoins USCIS in SIJS Case: "defendants have engaged in a practice of delaying the adjudication of SIJ petitions"

SIJ Victory in Washington State: Moreno Galvez v. Cuccinelli


In a case brought by the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (Moreno Galvez v. Cuccinelli, Oct. 5, 2020), U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik entered a ruling in a Special Immigrant Juvenile Status case:

"[P]laintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and request for permanent injunctive relief . . .  is GRANTED. Defendants’ cross-motion for summary judgment . . . is DENIED. The Court hereby declares that the 2018 policy requiring Washington state courts to have jurisdiction or authority to `reunify' 18-20 year old youths with their parents before making the relevant SIJ [Special Immigrant Juvenile] findings is unlawful. The Court further finds that defendants have engaged in a practice of delaying the adjudication of SIJ petitions and that injunctive relief requiring compliance with the 8 U.S.C. §1232(d)(2) is appropriate. Accordingly, the Court HEREBY ORDERS and enjoins defendants as follows: Defendants must adjudicate any SIJ petitions based on a Washington state court order within 180 days of the date that the application is filed by the petitioner . . . . USCIS must provide SIJ petitioners with sufficient time prior to the expiration of the 180 days to respond to the request/notice in an effort to complete final adjudication of the SIJ petition in a timely manner. USCIS may not use the issuance of a request for information or notice of intent to deny for the sole purpose of avoiding the statutory deadline for adjudication of an SIJ petition." (bold added).

Click here for a summary of the ruling on Top Class Actions.


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