Iglesia Pentecostal Casa De Dios Para Las Naciones, Inc. v. Johnson

Full title: IGLESIA PENTECOSTAL CASA DE DIOS PARA LAS NACIONES, INC., et al., Plaintiffs, v. JEH JOHNSON, Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security, et al., Defendants.

Court: UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS

Date published: Jul 21, 2016

Facts

Iglesia is a Pentecostal church located in Kansas City, Kansas. Iglesia holds a sincere religious belief that the church must live by faith. It bases this belief on its understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ as written in the Bible. Iglesia adheres to this belief by basing its employees’ compensation, in part, on an offering given directly by its parishioners.

On May 23, 2011, Iglesia filed with the USCIS an application for an R-1 visa on behalf of its sound and music director, Mr. Valdez, to work temporarily in the United States. By statute, an alien may obtain an R-1 visa as a “nonimmigrant alien” if he or she: (1) “for the 2 years immediately preceding the time of application for admission, has been a member of a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States[;]” and (2) “seeks to enter the United States for a period not to exceed 5 years” to work for the religious organization “in the vocation as a minister,” “in a professional capacity in a religious vocation or occupation,” or “at the request of the [religious] organization in a religious vocation or occupation.”

Issue

Decision

For the reasons explained above, the court finds that the AAO decision denying Mr. Valdez’s R-1 immigrant visa petition was not arbitrary and capricious or contrary law. The court affirms the agency decision and dismisses the case.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED THAT plaintiffs’ “Brief in Support of Judgment in Favor of Plaintiffs” (Doc. 11) is denied.

IT IS FURTHERED ORDERED THAT the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) decision denying Mr. Valdez’s R-1 immigrant visa petition is affirmed.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Dated this 21st day of July2016at TopekaKansas.

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