United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER
O'Grady, United States District Judge
Elizabeth Toku filed an 1-130 Immigration Petition for Alien
Relative on behalf of her husband, Plaintiff Nana Gyau.
Defendants denied the Petition under 8 U.S.C. § 1154(c)
because they determined that Mr. Gyau had previously entered
into a marriage with Latasha Robinson for the purpose of
evading the United States' immigration laws. Plaintiffs
allege that the denial of the Petition was arbitrary and
capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act
and violated their due process rights. Now before the Court
are the parties' cross Motions for Summary Judgment
(Dkts. 26 & 30). The motions were fully briefed and the
Court heard oral argument on February 22, 2018. For the
reasons stated below, and for good cause shown.
Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 26) is
hereby DENIED and Defendants' Motion for
Summary Judgment (Dkt. 30) is hereby
non-citizen marries a United States citizen, the
non-citizen's citizen-spouse can file an 1-130 Petition
with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
("USCIS") for the non-citizen-spouse to obtain an
immigrant visa. See 8 U.S.C. § 1154(a). After
the citizen-spouse provides documentation of his/her bona
fide marriage to the non-citizen, United States Citizenship
and Immigration Services ("USCIS') undertakes an
investigation to determine whether to grant the petition.
See § 1154(b). An 1-130 Petition must
be denied if there is "substantial and probative
evidence" demonstrating that the alien-beneficiary had
previously entered into a fraudulent marriage "for the
purpose of evading the immigration laws." 8 C.F.R.
§ 204.2(a)(1)(ii); accord 8 U.S.C. §
1154(c); Armah-El-Aziz v. Zanotii, 2015 WL 4394576,
at *4 (E.D.Va. July 16, 2015).
USCIS determines that the non-citizen has previously entered
into a fraudulent marriage, it issues a Notice of Intent to
Deny the Petition ("NOID"). 8 C.F.R. §
103.2(b)(8)(iv). The petitioner then has an opportunity to
submit additional documentation and written argument in
response to USCIS's rationale for its intended denial.
Id. §§ 103.2(b)(l 1), (b)(16)(i). If,
after receiving and considering the petitioner's
response, USCIS denies the Petition, the petitioner may then
appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals ('-BIA").
See 8 C.F.R. § 1204.1. The BIA reviews all
issues in a USCIS decision de novo. 8 C.F.R. §
BIA dismisses the appeal, the petitioner can then appeal to a
United States District Court under the Administrative
Procedure Act ("APA"), 5 U.S.C. § 701 et
seq., for a determination of whether the BIA's
decision is "arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of
discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law,"
Gyau is citizen a Ghana who has lived in the United States
since 2004. AR955, AR1052. Mr. Gyau's visitor visa
expired on November 23, 2004, but he did not leave the
country. AR1052. Instead, less than four months later, Mr.
Gyau married Latasha Robinson on March 8, 2005. Id.
Mr. Gyau 's Marriage to Ms. Robinson & Ms.
Robinson's Two 1-130 Petitions.
months after their marriage, in May 2005, Ms. Robinson filed
an 1-130 Petition on behalf on Mr. Gyau. AR1052-53. On
September 1, 2005, Ms. Robinson wrote and signed a
handwritten letter withdrawing her sponsorship of Mr. Gyau,
stating that she stopped living with Mr. Gyau in early July
September 5, 2009, Mr. Gyau and Ms. Robinson formally
Robinson then conducted an interview with USCIS on March 16,
2010 regarding her 1-130 Petition for Mr. Gyau. See
AR923-24. During that interview, Ms. Robinson signed a
handwritten "•admission" that her marriage to
Mr. Gyau was fraudulent, she had never lived with him, and
she was withdrawing her sponsorship of him. AR924. Her letter
reads, in its entirety:
I Latasha Robinson married Nana Obour Gyau to help him get a
green card. I got 500.00 dollars down and 300.00 dollars a
month for 5 years. I have never lived with him. I want to
withdraw all support from this petition. I never ...