United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO
Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge
the Court is Defendants' motion to dismiss. Dkt. # 16.
For the reasons below, the Court GRANTS the motion.
is a Chinese citizen who enlisted in the United States Armed
Forces through the Military Accessions Vital to the National
Interest (“MAVNI”) program. Dkt. # 10,
¶¶ 1, 19. In general, enlistees in the United
States Armed Forces must be either United States citizens or
lawful permanent residents. 10 U.S.C. § 504(b); Dkt. #
10, ¶ 19. The MAVNI program permits non-citizens who are
not permanent residents, but who were lawfully present in the
United States, to enlist if they had critical foreign
language skills or specialized medical training.
Id., ¶ 21. In his enlistment application,
Plaintiff affirmed that he was lawfully present on an F-1
foreign student visa based on his enrollment in the
University of Northern New Jersey (“UNNJ”). Dkt.
# 10, ¶ 138. UNNJ had enrolled Plaintiff in its
Curricular Practical Training (CPT) program and authorized
Plaintiff's fulltime work for Apple, Inc. as a
“full course of study as defined by 8 CFR
214.2(f)(6).” Id., ¶ 133.
claims that the Department of Defense and the Department of
Homeland Security promised MAVNI recruits United States
citizenship in return for their service in the Armed Forces.
Id., ¶ 22. After enlisting, Plaintiff applied
for naturalization on or about March 29, 2016. Id.,
¶ 141. In a written decision dated August 16, 2018,
USCIS denied Plaintiff's application. Id.,
¶ 162. Plaintiff alleges that USCIS denied his N-400
petition on the grounds that he is not of good moral
character because he knowingly misrepresented that he was in
valid F-1 status based on his enrollment at UNNJ to gain
enlistment into the U.S. Army and later apply for
naturalization. Id., ¶163.
alleges that, unbeknownst to him, U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) created the
University of Northern New Jersey. Id., ¶ 59.
ICE's goal was to target academic recruiters and brokers
who charged foreign students a fee to place them into
universities that did not actually offer the course of study
or authorized practical training required to satisfy the F-1
visa requirements. Id., ¶ 60. Plaintiff alleges
that UNNJ looked like a real university in the sense that it
was accredited by the State of New Jersey and DHS listed UNNJ
on its website of approved institutions. Id.,
¶¶ 80-81. UNNJ maintained a detailed website and
active social media accounts. Id., ¶¶
84-89. According to its website, UNNJ “sought to better
educate students by focusing on real world employment
knowledge and skills that parallel traditional academia at an
affordable cost.” Id., ¶ 84.
Amended Complaint before this Court, Plaintiff brings six
causes of action: estoppel, entrapment by estoppel,
entrapment, wrongful failure to naturalize, lack of due
process, and breach of contract. Defendants U.S. Department
of Homeland Security; U.S. Citizenship & Immigration
Services (“USCIS”); U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (“ICE”); Kirstjen Nielsen, in her
official capacity; L. Francis Cissna, in his official
capacity; Anne Arries Corsano, in her official capacity;
Ronald D. Vitiello, in his official capacity; and Cynthia
Munita, in her official capacity (collectively,
“Defendants”) move to dismiss. Dkt. # 16.
courts are tribunals of limited jurisdiction and may only
hear cases authorized by the Constitution or a statutory
grant. Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of
America, 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994). The burden of
establishing subject-matter jurisdiction rests upon the party
seeking to invoke federal jurisdiction. Id. Once it
is determined that a federal court lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court has no choice but to dismiss the
suit. Arbaugh v. Y & H Corp., 546 U.S. 500, 514
(2006); Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3) (“If the court determines
at any time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the
court must dismiss the action.”).
may bring a factual challenge to subject-matter jurisdiction,
and in such cases the court may consider materials beyond the
complaint. PW Arms, Inc. v. United States, 186
F.Supp.3d 1137, 1142 (W.D. Wash. 2016) (citing Savage v.
Glendale Union High Sch., 343 F.3d 1036, 1039 n. 2 (9th
Cir. 2003); see also McCarthy v. United States, 850
F.2d 558, 560 (9th Cir. 1988) (“Moreover, when
considering a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) the
district court is not restricted to the face of the
pleadings, but may review any evidence, such as affidavits
and testimony, to resolve factual disputes concerning the
existence of jurisdiction.”).
12(b)(6) requires the court to assume the truth of the
complaint's factual allegations and credit all reasonable
inferences arising from those allegations. Sanders v.
Brown, 504 F.3d 903, 910 (9th Cir. 2007). The plaintiff
must point to factual allegations that “state a claim
to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl.
Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 568 (2007). If the
plaintiff succeeds, the complaint avoids dismissal if there
is “any set of facts consistent with the allegations in
the complaint” that would entitle the plaintiff to
relief. Id. at 563; Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556
U.S. 662, 679 (2009) (“When there are well-pleaded
factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and
then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an
entitlement to relief.”). The court typically cannot
consider evidence beyond the four corners of the complaint,
although it may rely on a document to which the complaint
refers if the ...