Bremer v. Johnson, No. 15-1163 (8th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, Pub. L. No. 109-248, 120 Stat. 587, limits who may file a petition for a visa on behalf of an immediate family member who is a foreign national. In 2009, Joel Bremer, who had previously been convicted of sexual abuse of a minor, petitioned for a spousal visa on behalf of his wife, a native and citizen of the Philippines. The USCIS, exercising discretion delegated to it by the Secretary, determined that Mr. Bremer failed to show that he posed no risk to his wife and denied his petition. The Bremers filed a class action suit contending that the manner in which the USCIS makes the no-risk determinations violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 701(a)(1), and the Constitution. The district court granted in part the Bremers' motion for class certification, dismissed the case, and concluded that the Bremers sought judicial review of determinations that were committed to the “sole and unreviewable discretion” of the Secretary. The court remanded to the district court for further consideration of Count II where the Bremers allege that the Adam Walsh Act no longer applies to Mr. Bremer's petition; the court agreed with the Bremers that whether Mr. Bremer’s petition has already been filed, and if so, whether Clause (viii) is inapplicable, are predicate legal questions over which the district court has jurisdiction; the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., bars judicial review of the Bremers' challenges to how the Secretary has exercised his discretion to make a no-risk determination under the Act; and the court rejected the Bremers' remaining claims.