Court: Parties agree to continue stay in proceedings


Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and other federal officials have agreed to request the federal court that the stay of proceedings be continued in a lawsuit filed by private company and a Bangladeshi national over the U.S. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ denial in 2012 of a petition for Commonwealth-only worker, or CW-1 permit.

Johnson, USCIS Director Leon Rodriguez, and USCIS California Service Center Director Rosemary Langley Melville, and plaintiffs Angando Inc. and Moniruzzaman Masud jointly asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI that they be permitted to provide the court with another status report in 60 days on or by Sept. 9, 2016, as the court previously ordered.

Angando Inc. and Masud, through counsel Joseph E. Horey, are suing the U.S. government, Johnson Rodriguez, and Melville.

The plaintiffs asked the court to declare that Masud was lawfully present in the CNMI at the time of Angando’s petition, and is eligible for CW-1 classification.

Horey wants the court to compel the defendants to classify Masud as an alien eligible for CW-1 classification, and to approve Angando’s petition to employ him.

In a joint status report filed in court on Monday, defendants’ counsel, assistant U.S. attorney Mikel W. Schwab and plaintiffs’ counsel Horey, disclosed that the California Service Center was contacted last July 7 regarding this pending matter.

Schwab and Horey said according to CSC, they are issuing a notice of intent to deny Angando’s petition to obtain CW-1 permit for Masud.

Schwab and Horey said considering the pending status and that plaintiffs Angando and Masud may need to respond to this notice, the parties request that the stay be continued.

Last September, the parties reported to court that the USCIS Administrative Appeal Office has remanded to USCIS California Service Center for further review Angando’s petition for CW-1 permit for Masud.

The parties then stated that the USCIS Administrative Appeal Office has withdrawn its decision in this matter.

The parties disclosed that the USCIS Administrative Appeal Office reopened Angando’s petition and remanded it to USCIS California Service Center for further review.

The U.S. government’s position is that the administrative process must be exhausted in order for Masud and Angando to proceed with their lawsuit.

The parties then agreed to request the court to stay or suspend the case and vacate defendants’ response deadline pending the final decision of USCIS.

The lawyers agreed to provide the court with a status report every 60 days.

USCIS denied Masud’s and Angando’s petition for CW-1 permit on the grounds that the employer had not established that he was lawfully present in the CNMI at the time the petition was filed.

The plaintiffs asserted that Masud obtained an umbrella permit in 2009, which proved he was lawfully present in the Commonwealth.

Horey said the umbrella permit was a two-year permit issued prior to Nov. 28, 2009, by CNMI Labor, Department of Commerce, or the Office of the Attorney General.

Horey said the umbrella permit remained valid through Nov. 27, 2011.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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