US court dismisses Tinian Dynasty lawsuit against USCIS

CITING lack of jurisdiction, Federal Judge Judge Ramona V. Manglona on Sunday dismissed the lawsuit filed by the owner of the now-defunct Tinian Dynasty Hotel Casino against the federal government over the denial of petitions for CW-1 extension and transfer of its foreign workers.

Named defendants in the case were the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security acting Secretary Elaine Duke, and USCIS acting Director James McCament.

The case was dismissed with prejudice.

In her 14-page ruling, the judge said no amendment could cure the jurisdictional defect, and that allowing the plaintiff, Hong Kong Entertainment (overseas) Investments Ltd., to amend the lawsuit would be futile.

The judge said because the period in which HKE petitioned for CW-1 permits has already expired, the court could not provide a remedy for the alleged injury of workforce deprivation. Therefore, she added, HKE lacks standing.

Judge Manglona directed the court’s clerk to close the case and enter judgment in favor of the defendants.

Defendants Duke and McCament were automatically substituted for the original defendants — former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and former USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez.

HKE said USCIS’ action injured it in two ways: by sullying its reputation and by depriving it of much of its workforce. Both these injuries are redressible by favorable judicial action, HKE added.

But the judge noted that earlier decisions designating HKE’s hotel and casino operation as an illegitimate business have not expired nor retracted by USCIS.

Moreover, she said, the alleged reputational harm to HKE was “truly a byproduct” and not a direct result of USCIS action.

“USCIS did not reach out on its own and declare HKE and illegitimate business; rather it followed regulations to determine whether HKE was an eligible employer engaged in legitimate business.”

Source: Marianas Variety :

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