Tuesday, August 18, 2009

USCIS Denies Family Based Visa Petition under Adam Walsh Act

Our office has two cases where a U.S. citizen has filed I-130 Petitions for an Immediate Relative, their spouses, only to have USCIS issue intent to deny letters based upon their interpretation of the Adam Walsh Act of 2006.

The letters read in part,
"On July 27, 2006, the President signed the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, Pub. L. 109-248, to protect children from sexual exploitation and violent crimes, to prevent child abuse and child pornography, to promote Internet safety and to honor the memory of Adam Walsh and other child crime victims.

Sections 402(a) and(b) of the Adam Walsh Act amend section 101(a)(15)(K), 204(a)(1)(A) and 204(a)(1)(B)(i) of the INA to prohibit U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents who have been convicted of any 'specified offense against a minor' from filing a family-based visa petition on behalf of any beneficiary, unless the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security determines in his of her sole and unreviewable discretion that the petitioner poses no risk to the beneficiary of the visa petition. "

One of our clients was convicted of statutory rape, which was the result of consentual relations between a girl of 14 and an 18 year old boy, all of which occurred over 20 years ago.

Stay posted on how this case finally resolves. I sense some weighty constitutional issues implicated by Congress enacting this harsh ex post facto penalty and impinging upon a fundamental right to marry.


Anonymous said...

My I-485 case falls under Adam Walsh Act too. My USC husband is a registered sex offender for an offense back in 1991. We live in Michigan and hired a lawyer to do the paperwork for us. We had almost every document and evidence in the package except for a polygraph. I have been waiting since I had biometrics on Oct 23. I feel kinda disappointed and anxious when I saw your post.

Anonymous said...

I have the same situation. My husband took deferred adjudication on a online solicitation of minor charge. He got 8yr probation and has to register for post 10yrs. He applied for me in 1/2008. We got intent to deny letter on 7/09 and gave us 87 days to provide additional documents to show that I wouldn't be in any harm from my husband. We sent everything by end of 10/09. We got a second intent to deny letter on 12/09, same exact letter we received in July. I think USCIS is delaying purposely.

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Anonymous said...

What is the status of this case? Can you please update ?

Anonymous said...

What happened to your case?we got the same problem got denied 3 times.

Kris B said...

The law should be repealed, and narrowly tailored and not for decades old crimes unless of course there are repeat crimes depending on the seriousness of the charge,

A person who beats a child, starves a child, can still petition, but not a 17 year old who takes a suggestive photo of himself on his camera(a photo need not be nude to be child porn) cannot petition, gee I thought Congress wanted to protect the children, nope they just rammed a bill through.