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Singh v. Sessions

United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division

January 18, 2018

SARBJIT SINGH, Petitioner,
v.
JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS III, et al., Respondents.

          MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER

          DAVID SAM, SENIOR JUDGE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Sarbjit Singh has filed a Petition for Review of Denial of Application for Naturalization under 8 U.S.C. § 1421(c).[1] In it he challenges the Department of Homeland Security United States Citizenship and Immigration Services' (“USCIS”) denial of his naturalization application (Form N-400) based on its finding that he was not lawfully admitted because his birth certificate and the death certificate of his prior wife in India, submitted at the time of his admission, were determined by USCIS to be fraudulent.

         Mr. Singh requests that the Court remand this matter to USCIS and order it to process his naturalization application without regard to whether his admission to permanent residence was lawful at the time. Alternatively, he request that the Court: (1) find that he meets the requirements of naturalization, (2) approve his naturalization, (3) administer the oath, and/or (4) order Respondents to schedule an oath ceremony within thirty days, and issue him a naturalization certificate.

         Respondents move to dismiss the Petition for a number of reasons, including jurisdictional mootness. For the reasons that follow, Respondents' Motion to Dismiss is granted for lack of jurisdiction.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         Mr. Singh is a native and citizen of India. He entered the United States at El Paso, Texas on May 27, 1996. On March 3, 1997 he applied for asylum which later was denied because his claims about persecution in India were found not credible. While in immigration proceedings, Mr. Singh met and married Diana Ramirez. They were married on January 22, 2001. On February 28, 2001, Diana Ramirez, a U.S. Citizen, filed an I-130 alien relative petition with the USCIS on Petitioner's behalf. Petitioner concurrently filed a Form I-485 application to register permanent residence or adjust status. The parties submitted with those filings a death certificate for Mr. Singh's former spouse in India, Sukhwinder Kaur, to establish his legal ability to marry his current spouse Diana Ramirez, and Mr. Singh's Indian birth certificate.

         The USCIS granted the I-130 petition for alien relative on December 28, 2005. On February 10, 2006, the immigration judge in Mr. Singh's immigration proceedings granted his I-485 application to register permanent residence or adjust status.

         On March 1, 2006. fewer than 30 days later, Mr. Singh filed for divorce. The divorce became final on January 19, 2007. And on February 25, 2007, Mr. Singh married his third wife, Kiran. He filed an I-130 petition for alien relative on behalf of his new wife Kiran, along with a copy of her birth certificate. In connection with that filing, USCIS renewed its attempts to authenticate all documentation submitted by Mr. Singh. In a letter dated July 28, 2008, the Indian government responded that Mr. Singh's birth certificate was fraudulent. And on August 11, 2011, USCIS was informed by the Indian government that the death certificate provided for Mr. Singh's former spouse also was fraudulent.

         The USCIS subsequently determined the Mr. Singh had procured his I-130 petition for alien relative, filed by Diana Ramirez, through fraud, and that because he was never lawfully adjusted to permanent resident status due to fraud, he was statutorily ineligible to naturalize.

         On October 8, 2015, the USCIS formally denied Mr. Singh's naturalization application, and reaffirmed its denial on September 15, 2016.

         Mr. Singh filed his Petition in this court on January 12, 2017. And on June 13, 2017, the USCIS placed him in removal proceedings based on its finding that he procured his admission through fraud.

         III . DISCUSSION

         Resolution of this matter requires an examination of the interplay among three statutory provisions, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1421(a) & (c) and 1429. Section 1421(a) confers upon the Attorney General, now USCIS[2], the “sole authority” to naturalize individuals. As previously noted, section 1421(c) grants the right of judicial review to individuals whose naturalization applications have been denied after a hearing before an immigration officer. And ...


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