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Ramirez v. Dougherty

United States District Court, W.D. Washington

May 30, 2014

Jesus RAMIREZ and Barbara LOPEZ, Husband and Wife, Plaintiffs,
v.
Linda DOUGHERTY, Field Office Director, USCIS Seattle Field Office; Alejandro MAYORKAS, Director, USCIS; Janet NAPOLITANO, DHS Secretary, Eric HOLDER, United States Attorney General, Defendants

For Jesus Ramirez, Barbara Lopez, Plaintiffs: Christopher Strawn, Matt Adams, LEAD ATTORNEYS, NORTHWEST IMMIGRANT RIGHTS PROJECT (SEA), SEATTLE, WA.

For Linda M Dougherty, Field Office Director, USCIS Seattle Field Office, Alejandro Mayorkas, Director, USCIS, Janet Napolitano, DHS Secretary, Eric Holder, United States Attorney General, Defendants: Ashley Martin, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, OFFICE OF IMMIGRATION LITIGATION, WASHINGTON, WA.

For American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Amici: Christopher Strawn, LEAD ATTORNEY, NORTHWEST IMMIGRANT RIGHTS PROJECT (SEA), SEATTLE, WA; Mary Kenney, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, AMERICAN IMMIGRATION COUNCIL, WASHINGTON, DC.

ORDER

THOMAS S. ZILLY, United States District Judge.

THIS MATTER comes before the Court on Defendants' motion for summary judgment, docket no. 18, and Plaintiffs' cross-motion for summary judgment, docket no. 19. Having considered all materials filed in support of and opposition to the motions,[1]

Page 1323

the Court enters the following Order.

Background

The material facts of this case are not in dispute. Plaintiff Jesus Ramirez entered the United States from El Salvador on May 30, 1999, without being inspected and admitted or paroled by an immigration officer. In 2001, the United States Attorney General designated El Salvador under the Temporary Protected Status (" TPS" ) program after the country experienced an earthquake. Ramirez disclosed his unlawful entry into the U.S., applied for, and received TPS under 8 U.S.C. § 1254a(a)(1). Since that time, Ramirez has re-registered for TPS as needed.

On July 21, 2012, Ramirez married Plaintiff Barbara Lopez, an American citizen. Lopez filed a Form I-130 " Petition for Alien Relative" on Ramirez's behalf, and Ramirez filed a Form I-485 application to adjust his status to that of a lawful permanent resident, under 8 U.S.C. § 1255(a). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (" USCIS" ) denied Ramirez's application, explaining that Ramirez was not eligible to adjust his status because he entered the United States without inspection, and thus was not " inspected and admitted or paroled" into the United States as required by 8 U.S.C. § 1255(a).

Ramirez and Lopez now seek judicial review of USCIS's decision in this action under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 701.

Discussion

A. Summary Judgment Standard

Summary judgment is proper if there are no genuine issues of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The substantive law determines which facts are material; only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law properly preclude the entry of summary ...


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