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Immigration Law

Update to Settlement Agreement in Perez-Olano v. Holder: USCIS

"USCIS and plaintiffs have agreed to a stipulation to the Perez-Olano settlement agreement involving cases in which Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) petitions or SIJ-based applications for adjustment of status were denied, terminated or revoked on or after December 15, 2010 because the applicant’s state court dependency order had expired at the time of the filing. USCIS will not deny, revoke, or terminate an SIJ petition (Form I-360) or SIJ-based adjustment of status (Form I-485) if, at the time of filing the SIJ petition (1) the applicant is or was under 21 years of age, unmarried, and otherwise eligible, and (2) the applicant either is the subject of a valid dependency order or was the subject of a valid dependency order that was terminated based on age prior to filing. The full notice of this stipulation is provided below...

NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT REGARDING SPECIAL IMMIGRANT JUVENILE STATUS APPLICATIONS
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached a settlement with plaintiffs in the class action case entitled Perez-Olano v. Holder, No. CV 05-3604 (C.D. Cal.) The settlement involves cases in which Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) applications or SIJ-based applications for adjustment of status were denied because the applicant’s state court dependency order had expired at the time of filing. This notice describes the terms of the settlement and the rights extended by the settlement. A copy of the settlement is available at this link:
http://www.uscis.gov/laws/legal-settlement-notices/settlement-agreement-perez-olano-et-al-v-holder-et-al-case-no-cv-05-3604-us-district-court-central-district-california

Under the settlement USCIS agrees that it will not deny, revoke, or terminate a SIJ application (Form I-360) or SIJ-based adjustment of status if, at the time of filing a SIJ application (1) the applicant is or was under 21 years of age, unmarried, and otherwise eligible, and (2) the applicant either is the subject of a valid dependency order or was the subject of a valid dependency order that was terminated based on age prior to filing.

USCIS will, without additional fee, reopen applications for SIJ classification or SIJ-based adjustment of status it has denied, revoked or terminated on or after December 15, 2010, on the ground, in whole or in part, that the class member’s valid dependency order had been terminated, in whole or in part, based on age prior to filing Form I-360 with USCIS, provided that at the time of filing Form I-360 the class member was under 21 years of age and unmarried. USCIS will, without additional fee, re-adjudicate such reopened applications for SIJ classification and/or SIJ-based adjustment of status consistent with ¶ 1 above. Except for criminal activity that would disqualify an applicant for adjustment of status, such re-adjudication shall proceed on the basis of the facts, law, and regulations extant at the time USCIS initially denied, revoked, or terminated the SIJ application or SIJ-based adjustment of status on the grounds stated in ¶ 1 above. USCIS will make good faith efforts to re-adjudicate such reopened applications before later-filed applications for SIJ classification or SIJ-based adjustment of status.

USCIS will send letters to all persons whose SIJ applications or SIJ-based applications for adjustment of status were denied, terminated, or revoked on or after December 15, 2010, except where denied solely for fraud, explaining the terms of the Stipulation and describing the process by which they or their counsel may request Case 2:05-cv-03604-DDP-RZ Document 186 Filed 03/04/15 Page 19 of 20 Page ID #:1456 reopening and re-adjudication of their SIJ applications or SIJ-based applications for adjustment of status.

Upon reopening, USCIS will approve those applications for SIJ classification or SIJ-based adjustment of status that are approvable on the basis of the existing administrative record. If an applicant’s reopened application for SIJ classification or SIJ-based adjustment of status is not adjudicable on the basis of the existing record, USCIS shall notify the class member, and his or her counsel of record, if any, that his or her application for SIJ classification and/or SIJ-based adjustment of status has been reopened and issue him or her a request for evidence or a notice of intent to deny. The applicant shall thereafter be permitted 180 days to provide USCIS such additional evidence or response to the notice of intent to deny. Denials of applications for SIJ classification or SIJ-based adjustment of status shall be in writing and explain the reasons for the denial.

Applicants or counsel acting on behalf of applicants shall have until June 15, 2018, to advise USCIS by correspondence postmarked on or before such date, that they request USCIS to reopen and re-adjudicate applications for SIJ classification and/or SIJ-based adjustment of status pursuant to the Stipulation.

The Court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms set forth in the Stipulation.

The Stipulation shall expire on June 15, 2018, except that USCIS shall complete re-adjudication of applications for SIJ classification and SIJ-based adjustment of status for which a timely request has been made pursuant to ¶ 5 in accordance with the Stipulation.

If you have any questions about this notice, please feel free to contact USCIS (SIJ.ClassAction@uscis.dhs.gov) or class counsel Carlos Holguin (213) 388-8693 ext. 309 crholguin@centerforhumanrights.org and Peter Schey (213) 388-8693 ext. 304pschey@centerforhumanrights.org. If communicating with class counsel via email please contact both Messrs. Holguin and Schey.

Thank you,

USCIS Public Engagement Division" - USCIS, Apr. 27, 2015.