Fed court dismisses widower’s lawsuit


Citing lack of jurisdiction, the federal court has dismissed the lawsuit filed by a Bangladeshi widower who had sued to stop his removal from the CNMI.

Obaydul Hoque Bhuiyan, whose U.S. citizen wife died in July 2006, filed the case in 2014.

In granting the U.S. government’s motion to dismiss the case, U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona said that Bhuiyan fails to point to a finding of unlawful presence that the court can review.

Bhuiyan has already left the CNMI. He returned to Bangladesh on Nov. 3, 2015, while still holding a humanitarian parole status.

Manglona determined that the issue of accrual of unlawful presence did not trigger until Bhuiyan left the CNMI.

The U.S. government makes further arguments in favor of dismissal of the case due to Bhuiyan being ineligible for the immigration benefit he sought.

In rejecting such arguments as inapplicable to Bhuiyan’s complaint, Manglona noted that Bhuiyan clarifies that he does not dispute U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services revoking his petition.

Bhuiyan commenced his lawsuit in June 2014. He then amended his complaint on June 27, 2016.

Bhuiyan sought damages, a declaration that his presence in the CNMI was lawful from Nov. 28, 2009, through Nov. 3, 2015. He also wanted the U.S. government barred from asserting that he had accrued unlawful presence during that period.

According to court records, USCIS reopened Bhuiyan’s previously revoked I-360 visa application, and the pending removal proceeding was terminated without prejudice. Without prejudice means the USCIS may re-open the removal proceedings in the future.

In November 2014, USCIS also reopened Bhuiyan’s Form I-485 petition or application to adjust status. Form I-485 is required as the final step for an alien in the U.S. to adjust status to that of lawful permanent resident.

Bhuiyan appealed the revocation of his Form I-360 to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Form I-360 Form refers to a petition for Amerasian, widower or special immigration application.

On Nov. 3, 2015, Bhuiyan departed the CNMI to return to Bangladesh.

Following his departure, the Board of Immigration Appeals dismissed his appeal of the Department of Homeland Security director’s decision revoking the previously approved Form I-360 visa petition as meritless.

Bhuiyan has been reportedly residing in the CNMI for over 19 years. His U.S. citizen wife died less than three years after their marriage.

Bhuiyan first came to the CNMI from Bangladesh in 1996. On March 5, 2004, he married Ana Atalig, also known as Ana Atalig Torres, a U.S. citizen. After his marriage, Bhuiyan applied for and was issued an immediate relative permit by the CNMI government.

In July 2006, about two years and three months after her marriage to Bhuiyan, Atalig died.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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