United States District Court, District of Columbia
RICHARD J.LEON United States District Judge
2001, KPS Investment Company ("KPS"), a business
owned by Pete Patel ("Patel"), sought authorization
for Abhishek Ramanlal Raval ("Raval") to work for
KPS in the United States. KPS filed a labor certification
with the United States Department of Labor and an 1-140 visa
petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration
Service ("USCIS"), listing Raval as the beneficiary
of both. The requested work authorization was initially
granted. But in 2004, USCIS invalidated KPS's labor
certification and revoked its 1-140 petition due in part to a
finding that Raval had willfully misrepresented his work
experience on KPS's applications. The decision left Raval
ineligible for permanent residency in the United States,
which he had been seeking at the time his work authorization
Patel, and Raval (collectively, "plaintiffs") filed
this lawsuit against nine governmental entities and
officials to challenge USCIS's decision,
alleging that it was arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful. The
Government responded with a motion to dismiss plaintiffs'
complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and the
motion is now pending before me. Upon consideration of the
pleadings and the relevant law, the Government's motion
must be GRANTED.
is an alien seeking legal authorization to work and
permanently reside in the United States through a three-step
process administered by the Department of Labor and USCIS.
The process begins when a United States employer
names an available alien worker for an open and advertised
position and asks the Secretary of Labor to certify that (1)
the employer attempted to recruit U.S. workers in good faith;
(2) no U.S. worker is qualified, able, willing, or available
for such employment; and (3) employing the alien worker will
not adversely affect U.S. wages or working conditions.
IQ Sys., Inc. v. Mayorkas, 667 F.Supp.2d 105, 107
(D.D.C. 2009) (citing 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(5) and 20
C.F.R. § 656.10(a) & (c)). If the Department of
Labor issues a "labor certification" in response,
the employer "may file with USCIS a Form 1-140 Immigrant
Worker Visa Petition" that attaches the certification.
Id. (citing 8 U.S.C. § 1153(b)(3)(C) and 8
C.F.R. § 204.5(1)(3)(i)). "Upon approval of [the]
1-140 Petition," the alien receives authorization to
work for the employer-applicant and may proceed to the final
step in the process, a "petition for adjustment of his
status to that of permanent resident, through Form
1-485." Id. at 107 & n.2 (citing 8 U.S.C.
§ 1255 and 8 C.F.R. § 204.5(n)).
application process began on April 27, 2001, when KPS applied
for a labor certification on his behalf. See Compl.
¶ 14 [Dkt. # 1]. The Department of Labor issued the
requested certification, and on April 28, 2003, USCIS's
predecessor agency approved KPS's associated 1-140
petition, authorizing Raval to work for KPS in the United
States. See id.
work authorization lasted about eighteen months. On October
5, 2004, USCIS noticed its intent to revoke KPS's 1-140,
explaining that the agency had obtained evidence that Raval
falsified his work history on the labor certification.
See Compl. ¶ 14. Raval timely responded to the
notice, but unconvinced by his submission, USCIS revoked the
I-140 petition on October 27, 2004, based in part on a
finding of fraud against him. See Id. fflf 15, 22.
USCIS then determined that the fraud finding rendered the
labor certification invalid. See Id. ¶ 22. And
because the 1-140 revocation left Raval without work
authorization, his pending 1-485 application, through which
Raval was seeking permanent residency, was denied a few days
later. See Id. TJ 16.
continued pressing his case before USCIS but never persuaded
the agency to reverse its fraud finding. See Id.
fflf 17-29. On January 5, 2017, USCIS's Administrative
Appeals Office upheld the decision to revoke KPS's 1-140
petition. See Id. ¶¶ 27-29. The Appeals
Office affirmed both USCIS's finding that Raval had
"willfully misrepresented his qualifying
experience" on the labor certification and USCIS's
two additional bases for revoking the 1-140-Raval did not
"possess ... the experience required for the offered
position," and KPS did not have the "ability to pay
the proffered wage." Compl. Ex. 2 at 10[Dkt. # 1-4].
November 8, 2017, plaintiffs filed this lawsuit to challenge
the administrative actions revoking KPS's 1-140 petition,
invalidating the associated labor certification, and denying
Raval's 1-485 application.
Rule 12(b)(1), 'the plaintiff bears the burden of
establishing the factual predicates of jurisdiction by a
preponderance of the evidence.'" Hunter v.
FERC,569 F.Supp.2d 12, 15 (D.D.C. 2008) (quoting
Lindsey v. United States,448 F.Supp.2d 37, 42
(D.D.C.2006)). "[T]he Court 'must accept as true all
well-pleaded factual allegations and draw all reasonable
inferences in favor of the plaintiffs.'" Logan
v. Dep't of Veterans Affairs,357 F.Supp.2d 149, 153
(D.D.C. 2004) (quoting Fitts v. Federal Nat'l
Mortgage Ass'n,44 F.Supp.2d 317, 321 (D.D.C.
1999)). But a jurisdictional "inquiry focuses on the
Court's power to hear the claim," so "the Court
may give the plaintiffs factual allegations closer scrutiny
and may consider materials ...