Diana Jomaa v. United States

RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION Pursuant to Sixth Circuit I.O.P. 32.1(b) File Name: 19a0261p.06 UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT DIANA JOMAA; GEORGINA RIZK, ┐ Plaintiffs-Appellants, │ │ > No. 19-1156 v. │ │ │ UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, et al., │ Defendants-Appellees. │ ┘ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan at Flint. No. 4:18-cv-12526—Linda V. Parker, District Judge. Decided and Filed: October 9, 2019 Before: MERRITT, DAUGHTREY, and GRIFFIN, Circuit Judges. _________________ COUNSEL ON BRIEF: Nabih H. Ayad, AYAD LAW, PLLC, Detroit, Michigan, for Appellants. Gladys M. Steffens Guzmán, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Appellees. _________________ OPINION _________________ GRIFFIN, Circuit Judge. In this immigration case, Georgina Rizk and her daughter appeal the revocation of Rizk’s visa petition. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) initially granted the petition without taking into account a previous finding that Rizk had entered into a No. 19-1156 Jomaa, et al. v. United States, et al. Page 2 sham marriage, making her ineligible for a future visa pursuant to § 204(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”). See 8 U.S.C. § 1154(c). Once USCIS discovered the error, it revoked Rizk’s visa petition and explained that it never should have granted the petition in the first place. After an unsuccessful appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA” or “the Board”), plaintiffs challenged the revocation in the district court, which dismissed their complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). We affirm. I. Plaintiff Georgina Rizk is from Lebanon. In 1996, she received deferred admission to the United States as the fiancée of a United States citizen, Mohamed Derbass. Rizk and Derbass married in 1998, and USCIS granted Rizk conditional permanent resident status. When the two divorced in 2001, Rizk “requested a waiver of the requirement to file a joint petition to remove the conditions on residence, Form I-751, based upon the claim that although she had entered the marriage in good faith, the marriage was terminated through divorce or annulment.” An immigration officer interviewed Rizk under oath and gave her the opportunity to submit evidence in support of her request for a waiver. Several statements made by Rizk in that interview—concerning the fatherhood of her children and the whereabouts of her alleged first ex-husband, Mohamed Jomaa—conflicted with previous statements she had made in connection with her divorce proceedings. Additionally, Ms. Rizk provided no evidence to establish a shared residence with the alleged husband, Mr. Derbass. There also was no evidence presented regarding the commitment of the couple to the marriage, no documentation relating to the degree to which the financial assets and liabilities were combined, and no documentation to establish the length of time of cohabitation. Based on this lack of evidence and the discrepancies discussed above, USCIS determined that the marriage between Rizk and Derbass “was a sham marriage entered into for the primary purpose of enabling [Rizk] to evade immigration laws and to obtain immigration benefits fraudulently.” ...

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