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Date: 12-08-2023

Case Style:

Ramon Mora-Albarran v. Alejandro Mayorkas (United States of America)

Case Number: 3:22-CV-04181

Judge: Jacqueline Scott Corley

Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney:

Description: San Francisco, California immigration lawyer represented the Plaintiff who sued the Defendant under the Administrative Procedure Act challenging an adverse ruling.

Plaintiff was admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident (“LPR”) on April 13, 1985, following his marriage to a U.S. citizen. (Complaint at ¶¶ 2, 12; Dkt. No. 1 at 4849.) About a year later, Plaintiff was attempting to reenter the United States at the San Ysidro, California, Port-of Entry with a friend when they were stopped by immigration officials and Plaintiff accused of marriage fraud. (Complaint at ¶¶ 2-3; Dkt. No. 1-1 at 41-45.) Specifically, an immigration officer falsely told Plaintiff the friend reported Plaintiff's marriage was a sham and the officer warned Plaintiff if he did not relinquish his permanent resident status he could be sent to prison for a long time. (Complaint at ¶¶ 2-3.) As a result, Plaintiff “executed a form I-407, abandonment of his lawful permanent residence.” (Id. at ¶ 2.) Although Plaintiff waived the right to counsel in writing, he was not advised of the waiver's implications. (Id. at ¶ 4.) After Plaintiff executed the I-407, the inspecting officer seized his permanent resident card. “A transmittal memorandum from the officers, returning the cards to the ‘Immigration Card Facility,' states ‘These two subjects were found guilty of marriage fraud, Therefore documents must be destroy [sic].'” (Id. at ¶ 20; Dkt. No. 1-1 at 35.)

A little over a year later, Plaintiff filed an I-90 to replace his permanent resident card. (Complaint at ¶ 22; Dkt. No. 1-1 at 24.) As part of his application review, an immigration official wrote: “Pls re-issue a new card. Our understanding is that Subject's I-151 [LPR card] was lifted without a valid reason.” (Complaint at ¶ 23; Dkt. No. 1-1 at 32.) The I-90 application was then stamped “APPROVED” with a note “Fee waived card lifted arbitrarily (without a valid reason).” (Complaint at ¶ 24; Dkt. No. 1-1 at 24.)

Although lawful permanent resident status never expires, lawful permanent cards (also known as LPR or green cards) are valid for 10 years. (Complaint at ¶ 25.) On June 26, 2017, Plaintiff filed a form I-90 to renew his LPR card, which had been issued on October 31, 2007 and was valid through October 30, 2017. (Id. at ¶¶ 26-27.) Plaintiff's application was denied 10 months later “based solely on the execution of the I-407 abandonment of residence.” (Id. at ¶ 28; Dkt. No. 1-1 at 15.)

In July 2022, Plaintiff filed this action pleading three causes of action under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706. (Dkt. No. 1.) He requests the following relief:

(1) Find that the USCIS decision denying Mr. Mora's I-90 was not supported by substantial evidence that he voluntarily abandoned his status, vacate said decision, and remand with instructions to grant the I-90 application and issue him evidence of his status;

(2) Issue a declaratory judgment that Mr. Mora is a lawful permanent resident because he has not been ordered excluded, deported, or removed following his admission, and any purported I407 he executed is void as the product of a denial of counsel;

(3) Enter a permanent injunction enjoining Defendants from removing Mr. Mora from the United States, or denying him as a returning lawful permanent resident, unless Defendant obtains an administratively final removal order pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1229a.

After the action was filed, USCIS vacated its denial, re-opened Plaintiff's I-90, approved his application, and produced his new lawful permanent resident card. (Dkt. No. 13-1.) The government then moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction arguing mootness. (Dkt. No. 13.) The Court denied the motion finding the government had not met its heavy burden to demonstrate there was no reasonable expectation Plaintiff's I-90 LPR card renewal would not be denied again based on the allegedly invalid I-407. (Dkt. No. 27 at 4.) Following the Court's order, the government “cancelled” the I-407 and issued a memorandum declaring it “will not be considered in future USCIS adjudications.” (Dkt. No. 36-1.)...
Mora-Albarran v. Mayorkas, 3:22-cv-04181-JSC (N.D. Cal. Dec 08, 2023)

Outcome: Judgment in favor of Defendant.

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