Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Basil v. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

United States District Court, District of Columbia

February 16, 2017

STEWART DEUS BASIL, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICES, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          RICHTCRD J. LEON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         February, 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.

         BACKGROUND

         A 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. § 204.1(a)(3).

         Eligibility 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).

         Plaintiff, 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).[1]

         On 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 marriage."

Id., Ex. 5 at 2.[2]

         Roughly 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.

         On 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 ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.