A federal judge in Ohio has blocked the government's efforts to deny legal status to an illegal alien who married four times in less than four years, all apparently in efforts to secure legal status.
Judge Algenon Marbley said the evidence provided by the alien and his third wife, regarding the next-to-the-last marriage, was more significant than the government had deemed it, and sent the case back for further review.
The alien, a native of Ghana, Aning Kyeremeh, has this record:
- He arrived on a B-2 visa in March 2008 and soon dropped out of legal status (something that the judge does not describe explicitly in his decision).
- He married a U.S. citizen in April 2009 and annulled it eight months later; she, alone of the four, did not file papers to legalize his presence, and perhaps that was why that marriage collapsed.
- His second marriage lasted from March 2010 to April 2011; she did not appear at the USCIS interview about their marriage.
- His third marriage was the following month, May 2011; the couple gave, to some extent, conflicting answers to the usual set of DHS questions about their married life, and USCIS denied her application that he become a legal resident; DHS then started removal proceedings against him, and he divorced her in July 2012.
- He had yet another marriage in December 2012; she too applied for his legal status, and more than six years later apparently is still married to him; USCIS ruled against her petition for legal status for him, based on what happened with the third marriage and the couple took it to court.
The judge overlooked the pattern shown above and granted summary judgment on the grounds that the government had been too dismissive of the papers offered by the third wife (supporting her view of the legitimacy of that marriage) and sent the whole mess back to USCIS for further deliberation.
Just another example of what appears to be immigration/marriage fraud, and an indication of how difficult it is to cope with. The illegal alien involved is still here more than 10 years after losing status.
For the Law360 account of the trial, behind a partial paywall, see here; and for the near-complete court proceedings (minus some sealed documents) see PACER case 2:17-cv-00497.