Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bultasa Buddhist Temple of Chicago v. Nielsen

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

December 22, 2017

Bultasa Buddhist Temple of Chicago, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

          Argued October 30, 2017

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 15 C 9378 - John Z. Lee, Judge.

          Before Wood, Chief Judge, and Bauer and Easterbrook, Circuit Judges.

          Bauer, Circuit Judge.

         In October 2015, the Bultasa Buddhist Temple of Chicago, Jung Eun Lee, and Soung Youl Cho (collectively, "Appellants") filed this suit against the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and the Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (collectively, "Appellees"), seeking review of various actions related to Lee's and Cho's immigration status. The district court granted Appellees' motion to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. We affirm.

         I. BACKGROUND

         In November 2005, Cho was admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant student on an F-l visa, and Lee was admitted as his spouse on an F-2 visa. On March 17, 2006, Bultasa Buddhist Temple filed an 1-129 petition with USCIS, seeking to obtain a nonimmigrant religious worker visa (R-l visa) for Lee so that she could serve as the Temple's organist. That petition was sent to USCIS's California Service Center (CSC) and remained pending there for almost four years, despite Appellants' submission of a premium processing request.

         Finally, on October 19, 2009, a CSC representative inquired whether the Temple was still interested in pursuing the petition. That representative informed the Temple that USCIS intended to approve the petition and retroactively amend Lee's status, such that she would have had lawful status from June 1, 2006, to May 31, 2009. The CSC representative also informed the Temple it would be allowed to apply for an extension for the remaining period of eligibility, which would run from June 1, 2009, to May 31, 2011. This arrangement would have given Lee lawful status continuously from June 1, 2006, to May 31, 2011.

          The CSC then approved the Temple's original 1-129 petition on October 22, 2009. The approval notice, however, stated that the R-l visa was valid only until May 31, 2009. The Temple filed a petition to extend that visa on December 17, 2009, under the impression that CSC would approve the extension and apply it retroactively to a June 1, 2009, start date, per the arrangement described above. The CSC approved the extension, but only to start from May 11, 2010, and run until October 22, 2011. As a result, on the face of the visa and extension approvals, there was a gap in Lee's lawful status from June 1, 2009, to May 10, 2010.

         This proved problematic when the Temple filed an 1-360 petition on Lee's behalf seeking classification as a special immigrant religious worker in November 2010. The application stated that Lee had worked for the Temple since October 22, 2009. The CSC denied the application because Lee had worked for the Temple during a period when she did not have a valid visa (i.e., from October 22, 2009, to May 10, 2010). The Temple appealed the denial, but the Administrative Appeals Office dismissed the appeal on August 13, 2012.

         Appellants then sought the assistance of United States Representative Michael Quigley and on June 12, 2013, the Congressional Unit of the CSC agreed to amend Lee's status to indicate that her R-l visa had been valid from June 1, 2009, to May 31, 2011, thereby eliminating the gap in her lawful status. On September 24, 2013, the CSC approved the 1-360 petition.

         On December 9, 2013, Lee filed an 1-485 application with the CSC to adjust her status to become a lawful permanent resident. USCIS transferred the application from the CSC to the

          Nebraska Service Center (NSC) in an effort to speed up the processing time. The NSC denied Lee's application on May 15, 2015, explaining that she had a status violation from October 23, 2011 (the day her R-l visa expired), to December 8, 2013 (the day before she filed the 1-485 petition).

         Then, on January 20, 2016, USCIS informed Appellants of its intent to revoke the previous grant of the 1-360 petition because Appellants had failed to establish that Lee had worked continuously in a qualifying religious occupation for a full two years immediately preceding the filing of the application. In response, Appellants stated that Lee did not have the requisite two years of work experience because the CSC had unreasonably delayed processing the initial application for over three and a half years. USCIS considered that response to be an admission ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.