Thomas Taylor v. James McCament

In the United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit ____________________ No. 17-1943 THOMAS TAYLOR, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. JAMES W. MCCAMENT, Acting Director, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, et al., Defendants-Appellees. ____________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 1:16-cv-10754 — Amy J. St. Eve, Judge. ____________________ ARGUED OCTOBER 26, 2017 — DECIDED NOVEMBER 17, 2017 ____________________ Before FLAUM, RIPPLE, and MANION, Circuit Judges. FLAUM, Circuit Judge. Appellant Thomas Taylor applied for a U-visa in 2014. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) determined that Taylor was eligible, but placed him on a waiting list because the relevant statute prohibits the agency from issuing more than 10,000 U-visas per year. Taylor filed suit in district court, alleging that 2 No. 17-1943 USCIS’s prior delay in promulgating regulations for the U- visa program caused the backlog in applications. He asserted claims under the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) and the Mandamus Act, and asked the court to compel USCIS to immediately issue 80,000 U-visas to those on the waiting list. The district court determined that Taylor lacked standing and accordingly dismissed his complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. We affirm. I. Background On October 28, 2000, Congress created a new nonimmigrant visa classification—the “U-visa”—for any alien who is the victim of a qualifying crime in the United States and who assists law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of that crime. See Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (Victims Protection Act), Pub. L. No. 106-386, 114 Stat. 1464 (codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(U)). The purpose of the U-visa program is to strengthen law enforcement efforts, while simultaneously offering protection to victims. See Victims Protection Act, Pub L. No. 106-386, § 1513(a)(2), 114 Stat. 1464. To that end, Congress gave the Attorney General “discretion to convert the status of such nonimmigrants to that of permanent residents when doing so is justified on humanitarian grounds, for family unity, or is otherwise in the public interest.” Id. § 1513(a)(2)(C). An individual can apply for lawful permanent resident status once they have possessed a U-visa for three years. See 8 U.S.C. § 1255(m); see also 8 C.F.R. § 245.24(a)(1). No. 17-1943 3 Although the Victims Protection Act was enacted in 2000, the relevant agencies 1 failed to subsequently create any regulations or procedures to enable individuals to apply for U-visas. In 2005, Congress included a provision in the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) directing the Secretary of Homeland Security to issue regulations for the Victims Protection Act “[n]ot later than 180 days after the enactment of this Act.” Pub. L. 109-162, § 828, 119 Stat. 2960 (2006). Because VAWA was signed into law on January 5, 2006, USCIS had a deadline of July 4, 2006 to issue the regulations for U-visas. In September 2007—nearly seven years after enactment of the Victims Protection Act and more than a year after the Congressionally mandated regulation deadline—USCIS issued interim regulations with procedures for victims seeking ...

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