Use this button to switch between dark and light mode.

APA Victory in Chicago: Bristow v. Mayorkas

April 07, 2024 (1 min read)

Bristow v. Mayorkas

"Plaintiff Mark Bristow, a United States citizen, has filed a Form I-130 petition for an immigrant visa on behalf of his husband, Plaintiff Felixberto Tinga Villamil II. Form I-130 is intended to help relatives and spouses of American citizens obtain an immigrant visa to lawfully remain in the United States. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS” or “Defendant”) denied Plaintiffs’ petition on July 6, 2022. ... In lieu of appealing the decision to the BIA, Plaintiff allowed the decision to become final and filed an action in this court asking that USCIS’s decision be set aside as arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”). ... T]he court concludes that USCIS has not met its burden of showing marriage fraud by substantial and probative evidence as required. ... The court recognizes that USCIS is entitled to a very generous standard of review for its decision, and the court should affirm if “a reasonable mind could find adequate support for the decision.” Ogbolumani, 557 F.3d at 733. Yet in this case “adequate support” requires more than a preponderance of the evidence. A more carefully reasoned review of relevant evidence may well be adequate to support USCIS’ determination that Plaintiff Villamil’s marriage to Marilyn Pass was fraudulent, rendering him ineligible for I-130 relief. In light of the flaws in the agency’s review and analysis, however, the court is unwilling to affirm that determination on this record. This case is remanded to the agency for further review. Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment is granted and Defendants’ motion is denied."

Hats off to attorneys Brian GreenMike Jarecki and Maya FloresAnd also to Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer!]