Aishat v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AYMAN AISHAT, Plaintiff, v. Civil Action No. 17-2097 (JEB) U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, et al., Defendants. MEMORANDUM OPINION Plaintiff Ayman Aishat has been a legal permanent resident of the United States since 1989 and applied for citizenship in 2000. He has spent the two decades since waiting for a resolution. Tired of living in limbo, Aishat recently filed this suit, asking the Court to compel Defendant U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to resolve his naturalization application in a timely fashion. The agency counters by moving to dismiss one count of his Complaint for failure to state a claim and then seeking to transfer the remainder to the Eastern District of Texas. Persuaded on both grounds, the Court will grant Defendants’ Motion and send this case to the Lone Star State. I. Background According to the Complaint, which the Court must presume true at this stage, Aishat is a citizen of Jordan and first entered this country on a student visa in 1989. See Compl., ¶¶ 3, 18. He later received a green card through his employer and currently works as a wireless-network engineer. Id., ¶ 18. Plaintiff has also married a U.S. citizen with whom he has three U.S.-citizen children. Id., ¶ 19. On June 6, 2000, he too sought citizenship, filing his N-400 naturalization 1 application with USCIS. Id., ¶ 20. Over the ensuing 18 years, his application has encountered several snares. After interviewing Aishat at the USCIS Dallas Field Office on January 23, 2001, the agency took no action on his application for the next seven years. Id., ¶¶ 20, 21. On March 6, 2008, the Dallas Office scheduled another interview with Plaintiff. Id., ¶ 21. Three more years passed before USCIS denied his naturalization application, id., ¶ 22, claiming he had failed to disclose his past affiliation with an organization known as the Holy Land Foundation (which the Treasury Department lists as a fundraising arm for “a terrorist organization,” Harakat al- Muqawama al-Islamiya). See MTD, Exh. A (N-400 Denial) at 2-4. On May 31, 2011, Aishat filed an N-336 naturalization appeal and has since repeatedly requested that the agency provide any adverse evidence used to deny his original application. See Compl., ¶ 23. USCIS ignored those requests. Id. Instead, it scheduled another interview at the Dallas Office in November of that year and then issued a request for more information related to his application. Id., ¶¶ 24, 25. Specifically, it sought “a list of organizations of which Plaintiff had ever been a member of or affiliated with.” Id., ¶ 25. Aishat timely complied with all requests by February 2012. Id. USCIS stayed silent for the next five years, id., ¶ 26, and Plaintiff, understandably fed up with the delay, filed suit in this Court, naming as Defendants: the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; USCIS; Kirstjen Nielsen, the Secretary of Homeland Security; L. Francis Cissna, the Director of USCIS; William Bierman, the Director of the Dallas Field ...

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Source: All recent Immigration Decisions In All the U.S. Courts of Appeals