Mariela Reyes v. Lee Cissna

UNPUBLISHED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT No. 17-7304 MARIELA HERNANDEZ REYES, Plaintiff – Appellant, v. LEE FRANCIS CISSNA, Director, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, Defendant – Appellee. Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, at Charlotte. Frank D. Whitney, Chief District Judge. (3:16-cv-00749-FDW-DCK) Argued: March 21, 2018 Decided: April 12, 2018 Before DUNCAN and AGEE, Circuit Judges, and Leonie M. BRINKEMA, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, sitting by designation. Affirmed by unpublished per curiam opinion. ARGUED: Bradley Bruce Banias, BARNWELL WHALEY PATTERSON & HELMS, Charleston, South Carolina, for Appellant. Brian Christopher Ward, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Appellee. ON BRIEF: Chad A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General, William C. Peachey, Director, Gisela A. Westwater, Assistant Director, Civil Division, Office of Immigration Litigation, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Appellee. Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit. 2 PER CURIAM: Mariela Hernandez Reyes brought this action against Lee Cissna, the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS” or the “Agency”), after the Agency denied her application for Special Immigrant Juvenile (“SIJ”) status. See generally 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(27)(J). Reyes contends that the criteria on which the Agency relied to deny her SIJ application was in excess of its statutory mandate. She also alleges that the Agency’s decision was arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise contrary to law, under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706. The district court concluded that the Agency was entitled to summary judgment and Reyes appeals. For the reasons set out below, we affirm. I. A. Section 101(a)(27) of the Immigration and Nationality Act lists a number of “special immigrant” categories, including SIJ status. See 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(27). An SIJ is “an immigrant who is present in the United States”: (i) who has been declared dependent on a juvenile court located in the United States or whom such a court has legally committed to, or placed under the custody of, an agency or department of a State, or an individual or entity appointed by a State or juvenile court located in the United States, and whose reunification with 1 or both of the immigrant’s parents is not viable due to abuse, neglect, abandonment, or a similar basis found under State law; [and] .... (iii) in whose case the Secretary of Homeland Security consents to the grant of special immigrant juvenile status[.] 3 Id. § 1101(a)(27)(J). The applicant bears the burden of proving she is entitled to SIJ status. Id. § 1361 (“Whenever any person makes application for a visa or any other document required for entry, or makes application for admission, or otherwise attempts to enter the United States, the burden of proof shall be upon such person to establish that he is eligible to receive such visa or such document[.]”). Obtaining SIJ status is a significant benefit because such an alien, like others in the statutory special ...

Original document
Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals