Florida Record

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Court rules against convicted child pornographer's petition for spouse's U.S. residence status

Federal Court

By Marian Johns | Jul 27, 2019


ORLANDO — The federal government was granted its motion to dismiss a complaint filed by an Indian Harbour Beach, Florida, man who was prosecuted in the Netherlands for trafficking in child pornography and denied a petition for his Mexican citizen spouse to seek permanent residence status in the United States. 

According to the July 2 U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Orlando Division filing, the defendants, the directors of the National Benefits Center, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, asked the court to dismiss a two count complaint filed by the plaintiff Kenneth Dale Carkeet. 

Carkeet, a U.S. citizen, had filed an alien relative petition asking for the permanent residency of his spouse Alejandro Sanguines, a Mexican citizen. The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) denied Carkeet's request due to Carkeet's past arrest and prosecution in the Netherlands for trafficking in child pornography.  

The DHS and USCIS cited the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act which prohibits citizens of the U.S. convicted of a "specific offense against a minor" from filing "a family-based visa petition" on a beneficiary's behalf, according to the court filing. The federal agencies also asked Carkeet for "additional evidence" so they could "evaluate the nature and circumstances" of his prosecution and arrest in the Netherlands. 

Carkeet alleges that Dutch law prohibits him from obtaining the documents needed, that he "never conceded" to the conviction, that the Adam Walsh Act does not apply to him he is a same sex couple and that the federal government's denial of his petition violated his Fifth Amendment rights. 

The court disagreed with U.S. District Judge Roy Dalton, Jr., and concluded that the federal government's application of the Adam Walsh Act regarding Carkeet's petition was "not unconstitutional."

The court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction and dismissed Carkeet's "constitutional challenge" with prejudice for failure to state a claim.

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