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USCIS Orphan Petition Denial Arbitrary and Capricious: Blanford v. USCIS

May 13, 2024 (1 min read)

Blanford v. USCIS

"Because of a consular officer’s suspicions over a $900 payment, two children have spent the last seven years in a Liberian orphanage instead of with their adoptive parents in the United States. That’s a tragedy, one that will end today. ... [T]he Court finds no evidence whatsoever of child-buying in the record. Instead, there is nothing but speculation based on timing. That cannot be enough under the applicable regulations, so the Court finds USCIS’ decision to be arbitrary and capricious. ... Rather than base a child-buying determination on evidence, the consular officer and USCIS relied on exactly what USCIS’ attorneys say they did—“suspicions.” ... That’s not enough. ... In the face of this evidence, what USCIS relied upon is extraordinarily weak. ... The rest of the evidence is simply petty. ... USCIS’ decision to deny the I-600 Petitions because of irrelevant, unsupported, and sparse evidence was arbitrary and capricious. ... USCIS relies on information that is demonstrably false. ... The evidence on which USCIS relied, consisting of out-of-date, demonstrably false statements, could not and did not overcome the legal, documentary evidence. That USCIS found otherwise was arbitrary and capricious. For these reasons, Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment is GRANTED and Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is DENIED. Defendant is ORDERED to approve the I-600 Petitions filed by Plaintiff on behalf of Anointed and Cyrus without delay."

[Hats way off to superlitigator Jesse Bless!]