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Immigration Law

Judge Slaps Down USCIS Motion to Dismiss: Zamana v. Renaud

Zamana v. Renaud

"On February 23, 2021, Plaintiff brought this suit under the Administrative Procedure Act alleging that the agency’s decision to revoke Zamana’s petition was “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law.” 5 U.S.C §§ 701-706.53. USCIS has now filed a motion to dismiss arguing that, because the Agency’s decision to revoke its approval of Zamana’s petition was discretionary under 8 U.S.C. § 1155, this Court has no jurisdiction to review it. ... [D]eterminations about NTC’s address, the location of Zamana’s job, the legitimacy of NTC’s job offer, and NTC’s ability to legally pay Zamana were not only nondiscretionary; they were also not determinations USCIS was authorized to make. ... USCIS had no discretion to make those determinations both because they are inherently nondiscretionary and because the statute commits them to an entirely separate department in the executive branch. ... Accordingly, this Court retains jurisdiction to resolve Plaintiff’s Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”) claim. Plaintiffs have also raised arguments in their briefing that go to the merits of their APA claim. Those arguments are embarrassing for USCIS but ultimately premature. The Court will not decide that the Agency acted arbitrarily and capriciously without full
briefing on the matter."

[I haven't read all the pleadings, but based on this order, it looks really embarrassing for USCIS and the DOJ/DHS attorneys representing Renaud.  Hats off to Stephen Antwine and Brian Halliday!]