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Goniglio v. Garland (jurisdiction, APA, "age of 18")

August 26, 2021 (1 min read)

Coniglio v. Garland

"Qiu and Coniglio state claims under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), Declaratory Judgment Act (DJA), and the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. All three causes of actions rely on their claims that USCIS (1) revoked Qiu’s classification as an “immediate relative” based upon an impermissible construction of 8 U.S.C. § 1101(b)(1)(B) that excludes children who turn 18 on the date of their parents’ marriage; (2) failed to consider their argument that Second Circuit and Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) precedent mandate a “lenient” construction of that statute; and (3) disobeyed a BIA remand order that required consideration of their arguments. See 8 U.S.C. § 1101(b)(1)(B) (defining “child” to include “an unmarried person under twenty-one years of age who is. . . a stepchild, whether or not born out of wedlock, provided the child had not reached the age of 18 years at the time the marriage creating the status of stepchild occurred”). ... The Court GRANTS Qiu and Coniglio the following relief: First, the Court SETS ASIDE USCIS’s decision to revoke its prior approval of Qiu and Coniglio’s Form I-130 petition pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A). Second, the Court DECLARES USCIS’s interpretation of the phrase “had not reached the age of 18 years” in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(b)(1)(B) to be contrary to law and ENJOINS USCIS from adjudicating Qiu and Coniglio’s petition based upon its unlawful interpretation. Third, the Court DECLARES Qiu to be a “child” within the meaning of 8 U.S.C. § 1101(b)(1)(B). Fourth, the Court ORDERS USCIS to reinstate the I-130 Petition unless the reversal of USCIS’s revocation results in automatic reinstatement of the same."

[Hats off to Ted Cox!]