Karam v. Garland

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BHAN W. KARAM, Plaintiff v. Civil Action No. 21-0915 (CKK) MERRICK GARLAND, et al, Defendants MEMORANDUM OPINION (September 30, 2022) Plaintiff Bhan W. Karam is a citizen and resident of the United States, who seeks to compel Defendants to render a decision regarding the eligibility of his mother and siblings to be admitted to the United States as refugees. Plaintiff argues that Defendants have unreasonably delayed consideration of his family’s eligibility to be admitted to the United States as refugees, and have thereby violated the Administrative Procedure Act, Mandamus Act, and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Pending before the Court is Defendants’ [21] Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, for Summary Judgment. Upon review of the pleadings, 1 the relevant legal authorities, and the record as a whole, the Court concludes that it lacks jurisdiction to consider Plaintiff’s APA and Mandamus Act claims, and that the Complaint fails to state a claim for relief under the Fifth Amendment. Accordingly, the Court shall GRANT Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the Complaint. 1 The Court’s consideration has focused on: Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, for Summary Judgment (“Defs.’ Mot.”), ECF No. 21; Plaintiff’s Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, for Summary Judgment (“Pl.’s Opp’n”), ECF No. 23; Defendants’ Reply in Support of Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, for Summary Judgment (“Defs.’ Reply”), ECF No. 25; and the portions of Plaintiff’s Surreply (“Pl.’s Surreply”), ECF No. 26-1, which the Court granted leave to file, see ECF No. 31. In an exercise of its discretion, the Court finds that holding oral argument in this action would not be of assistance in rendering a decision. See LCvR 7(f). 1 I. BACKGROUND A. Refugee Admissions to the United States The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (“USRAP”) manages the admission of refugees to the United States. See Declaration of Joanna Ruppel (“Ruppel Decl.”) ¶ 12, ECF No. 21-2. 2 The Secretary of Homeland Security has delegated to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) the authority to determine “eligibility for refugee status” under the INA. Id. The International and Refugee Affairs Division (“IRAD”), a component of USCIS’s Refugee, Asylum, and International Operations Directorate, is responsible for adjudicating all refugee cases. Id. Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1157(c)(1), “the Attorney General may, in the Attorney General’s discretion and pursuant to such regulations as the Attorney General may prescribe, admit any refugee who is not firmly resettled in any foreign country, is determined to be of special humanitarian concern to the United States, and is admissible . . . as an immigrant.” 8 U.S.C. § 1157(c)(1) (emphasis added). The USRAP has established three “processing priorities” to identify individuals of “special humanitarian concern to the United States and who are eligible for refugee resettlement consideration” Ruppel Decl. ¶ 13. One of these categories—“Priority 3” (or “P-3”)—includes individuals “from designated nationalities granted access for purposes of reunification with family members already in …

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