AYANBADEJO v. CHERTOFF
517 F.3d 273 (2008)
John AYANBADEJO; Felicia Ayanbadejo, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
Michael CHERTOFF, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit.
February 8, 2008.
Ike Nkem Atah Waobikeze, Waobikeze & Associates, Houston, TX, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.
Samuel. G. Longoria, Houston, TX, for Defendants-Appellees.
Before WIENER, BARKSDALE, and DENNIS, Circuit Judges.
Plaintiffs-Appellants John Ayanbadejo and Felicia Malveaux Ayanbadejo filed this action against Defendants-Appellees Michael Chertoff, in his official capacity as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS"), and District Director Sharon A. Hudson of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS"), which is part of DHS, and that agency, seeking declaratory, injunctive, and mandamus relief from adverse immigration decisions by these officials. As the district court incorrectly concluded that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction to review the denial of Felicia's I-130 visa petition, we reverse the decision of the district court granting the government's motion to dismiss and remand for a new trial.I. Facts and Proceedings
John, a citizen of Nigeria, met Felicia, a United States citizen residing in Beaumont, Texas, during a visit to the United States on a tourist visa in December 1996. The couple married on February 10, 1997. Less than a month after their marriage, Felicia filed a Form I-130 "Petition for Alien Relative" to have John classified as an "immediate relative."1 John subsequently filed a Form I-485 "Application to
Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status" to become a lawful permanent resident.2
On December 5, 2000, after an investigation by the USCIS raised doubts about the validity of the Ayanbadejos' marriage, the USCIS issued a notice of intent to deny Felicia's I-130 petition and John's I-485 application.3 On April 17, 2001, Felicia filed a second I-130 petition seeking an immediate relative visa for John, and John filed a second I-485 application requesting adjustment of his status. On June 26, 2002, the USCIS issued a notice of intent to deny Felicia's second I-130 petition on the same ground as its previous notice of intent to deny—that the Ayanbadejos' union was not bona fide but was a sham marriage, entered into solely for immigration purposes. Felicia filed a response to USCIS's notice with additional documentation. Unpersuaded, on October 9, 2002, the USCIS issued a notice of denial of the Felicia's I-130 petition and John's I-485 application.
When the USCIS denied the Ayanbadejos' I-130 petition and I-485 application based on its finding that their marriage was entered into for the purposes of circumventing immigration laws, the Ayanbadejos filed an appeal with the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") of the United States Department of Justice. On June 16, 2005, the BIA affirmed the USCIS's decision without a written order. John subsequently filed a petition for review of the BIA's decision with us, which we dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
The Ayanbadejos then filed a complaint in district court. The government filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction,4 arguing that the REAL ID Act of 2005, codified at 8 U.S.C. § 1252(a)(2)(13), eliminated the district court's right to review the Ayanbadejos' I-130 petition and I-485 application.