Owusu-Boakye v. Barr

Because of evidence that the plaintiff’s spouse had previously entered into a sham marriage for the purpose of evading U.S. immigration law, the Board of Immigration Appeals properly denied the plaintiff’s petition to grant his spouse a visa.

Record evidence amply supports the immigration agencies’ conclusions that the plaintiff’s wife previously entered into a fraudulent marriage as a business transaction. The fraudulent husband admitted in a sworn statement that he married the plaintiff’s spouse for money, didn’t live with her during marriage, and didn’t consummate the marriage. Investigators also found that their marriage was facilitated by a large-scale marriage-fraud ring.

Contrary to the plaintiff’s argument, the agencies did not rely on inadmissible evidence (such as the sworn statement) because the regulations applicable to U.S. Customs & Immigration Services don’t require the agency to produce the evidence or witnesses on which it intends to rely. The agencies complied with their obligations by providing summaries of their information at each stage of the proceeding.

The plaintiff also has not shown that the visa adjudication proceeding violated the plaintiff’s right to due process. Courts have rejected the theory that individuals have a fundamental right to live in the United States with an alien spouse. Even assuming such a right existed, the visa proceeding allowed the plaintiff to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner.

While this is an unfortunate case, the plaintiff’s wife’s earlier choice to attempt to evade immigration laws dooms the plaintiff’s claims here.

Defendants’ motion for summary judgment granted.

Owusu-Boakye v. Barr, No. 1:18cv1344, Apr. 8, 2019. EDVA at Alexandria (Ellis).



Categories: Opinions, U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Virginia

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