United States District Court, District of Columbia
RICHTCRD J. LEON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
2017 This matter is before the Court on plaintiffs Emergency
Motion [ECF No. 6], Motion for Summary Reversal of USCIS
Decision [ECF No. 7], and Motion to Take Judicial Notice [ECF
No. 15], and Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and Opposition
to Plaintiffs Emergency Motion and Motion for Summary
Reversal [ECF No. 9]. For the reasons discussed below,
defendant's motion will be granted, plaintiffs motions
will be denied, and this civil action will be dismissed.
United States citizen may request an immigrant visa for her
non-citizen spouse ("alien" or
"beneficiary") by filing a petition using Form
1-130, Petition for Alien Relative. See 8 U.S.C.
§ 1154(a)(1)(A); 8 C.F.R. § 204.1(a)(1). The
petitioner thus requests "the alien's classification
as an immediate relative under section 201(b) of the
[Immigration and Nationality] Act based on a qualifying
relationship to a citizen . . . of the United States." 8
C.F.R. § 204.1(a); see 8 U.S.C. § 115
l(b)(2)(A)(i) (defining term "immediate relatives"
to include spouse of a United States citizen). A non-citizen
spouse may file his own petition using Form 1-360, Petition
for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, "if...
during the marriage ... the alien ... has been battered or
has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by the
alien's spouse." 8 U.S.C. §
1154(a)(1)(A)(iii)(I); see 8 C.F.R. §
for an immigrant visa under either provision requires that
the petitioner and his or her spouse entered into their
marriage in good faith, not for the purpose of circumventing
the immigration laws. Relevant to this discussion is section
204(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act:
No petition shall be approved if . . . the alien has
previously been accorded, or has sought to be accorded,
an immediate relative .. . status as the spouse of a citizen
of the United States . . ., by reason of a marriage
determined by the Attorney General to have been entered into
for the purpose of evading the immigration laws, or . .
. the Attorney General has determined that the alien has
attempted or conspired to enter into a marriage for the
purpose of evading the immigration laws.
8 U.S.C. § 1154(c) (emphasis added); see 8
C.F.R. §§ 204.1(a)(ii), 204.2(c)(1)(iv) (requiring
self-petitioner to comply with section 204(c)). An 1-130
Petition "for immigrant visa classification filed on
behalf of any alien for whom there is substantial and
probative evidence" that the alien "has attempted
or conspired to enter into the marriage for the purpose of
evading the immigration laws" will be denied,
"regardless of whether that alien received a benefit
through the attempt or conspiracy." 8 C.F.R. §
204.2(a)(1)(ii). Similarly, "[a] spousal self-petition
cannot be approved if the self-petitioner entered into a
marriage to the abuser for the primary purpose of
circumventing the immigration laws." Id. §
204.2(c)(1)(ix). "Where there is reason to doubt the
validity of a marital relationship, the petitioner must
prevent evidence to show that the marriage was not entered
into for the primary purpose of evading the immigration
laws." Mem. of P. & A. in Support of Def.'s Mot.
to Dismiss and Opp'n to PL's Emer. Mot. and Mot. for
Summ. Reversal [ECF No. 9] ("Def.'s Mem."), Ex.
A (Jan. 29, 2015 AAO Decision) at 5 (citation omitted). For
purposes of an 1-360 petition, "[e]vidence of good faith
at the time of marriage may include, but is not limited to,
proof that one spouse has been listed as the other's
spouse on insurance policies, property leases, income tax
forms, or bank accounts; and testimony or other evidence
regarding courtship, wedding ceremony, shared residence and
experiences." 8 C.F.R. § 204.2(c)(2)(vii).
a native and citizen of Tanzania, entered the United States
on January 22, 2000, on a valid student visa. See
Def.'s Mem., Ex. A at 4, 6. He married a United States
citizen ("A-G-") on December 30, 2001, and a Texas
court declared the marriage void on January 24, 2003.
Id., Ex. A at 4; see Am. Compl. [ECF No.
5], Ex. 2 (Decree Declaring Marriage Void) (exhibit number
designated by the Court).
February 20, 2002, A-G- submitted an 1-130 Petition, Am.
Compl. at 9, "requesting] that the beneficiary, Stewart
Deus Basil, be classified as [her] spouse under Section
201(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act),
" Mot. for Summ. Reversal of USCIS Decision [ECF No. 7]
("PL's Mot."), Ex. 5 (Denial of Visa Petition
dated June 25, 2004) at 1 (exhibit numbers designated by the
Court). A-G- stated under penalty of perjury that she had no
prior marriages. Id., Ex. 5 at 1. Records obtained
by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
("USCIS"), however, revealed that A-G- not only had
married four men previously without having dissolved any of
these marriages, see Am. Compl. at 5, 10, but also
had filed an 1-130 Petition on behalf of each husband,
see PL's Mot., Ex. 5 at 1-2. On June 25, 2004,
the District Director denied A-G-'s petition:
Based upon the investigative findings of [A-G-'s]
simultaneous contractual multiple marriages, as well as [her]
utter failure to disclose the marriages or complete the
application in a truthful manner, the [USCIS] is compelled to
deny the visa petition. Further, the [USCIS] is compelled to
conclude that [A-G-'s] marriage to the beneficiary was
entered into solely to enable the beneficiary to obtain an
immigration benefit, commonly referred to as a "sham
Id., Ex. 5 at 2.
two months after the annulment, on March 28, 2003, plaintiff
married another United States citizen ("R-D-").
Def.'s Mem., Ex. A at 4. R-D- filed an 1-130 Petition on
plaintiffs behalf on May 28, 2003. Id., Ex. B at 3.
The District Director referred to existing USCIS records
showing that plaintiff had been married to A-G-, that A-G-
had filed a visa petition on plaintiffs behalf, and that the
petition had been denied because plaintiff and A-G-
"entered into a fraudulent marriage in order to confer
immigration benefits." PL's Mot., Ex. 6 (Notice of
Denial of Visa Petition dated March 25, 2005) at 1. Because
plaintiffs marriage to A-G- had been fraudulent, the District
Director denied R-D-'s petition pursuant to section
204(c). See id., Ex. 6 at 2. Plaintiff and R-D-
separated in June 2008, and plaintiff returned to Tanzania in
April 2010. Def.'s Mem., Ex. A at 4; see Am.
Compl. at 3.
August 8, 2011, plaintiff filed his own 1-360 Petition
"under [the] Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA),
" alleging that he had "been battered and
experience[d] extreme cruelty" during his marriage to
R-D-. Am. Compl. at 3 (emphasis removed). He received written
confirmation of receipt of the petition which was "found
to establish a prima facie case for classification under the
self-petitioning provisions of the Violence Against Women
Act." Id., Ex. 3 (Establishment of Prima Facie
Case dated August 11, 2011). The notice further provided:
PLEASE NOTE: ESTABLISHING A PRIMA FACIE CASE FOR
CLASSIFICATION UNDER THE SELF-PETITIONING PROVISIONS OF THE
VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ACT DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN ...