Russell Abrutyn

Abrutyn Law PLLC

3765 12 Mile Road

Berkley, MI 48072

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sixth Circuit recognizes concept of sham divorce

Bazzi v. Holder, No. 12-3759 (6th Cir. Dec. 19, 2013) (unpublished)

In this case, the noncitizen allegedly lied about whether he had truly divorced his wife in Lebanon before applying for an immigrant visa in the 2B category in 1989.  He was found to have been involved in a sham divorce and was denied a visa.  A few  years later, his ex-wife and their six children immigrated to the U.S. in a petition filed for her as an unmarried child.  They are now citizens.

Bazzi entered without inspected a few years later and applied for adjustment of status, possibly as the parent of an adult USC child.  He was denied on the grounds that he was inadmissible as the result of fraud in sham divorce/1989 immigrant visa proceedings.

The court upheld this finding and in the process also recognized the concept of sham divorces in immigration law. 

Detainers against U.S. citizens does not violate clearly established liberty right

Ortega v. ICE, No. 12-6608 (6th Cir. Dec. 10, 2013) (published)

In this case, a USC was sentenced to home confinement as part of a driving under the influence conviction.  ICE issued a detainer against him, purportedly because his name and birth date resembled that of a noncitizen who had been removed.  Apparently there was not a fingerprint match but that did not matter.  As a result, he was imprisoned for four days before being released.

His lawsuit was dismissed on qualified immunity grounds because there was no clearly established right to be free from unnecessary imprisonment as a result of an improperly issued detainer.  This will only encourage further such erroneous detainers.