United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
Anthony P. Patti U.S. Magistrate Judge.
ORDER DENYING RESPONDENTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY
J. Tarnow Senior U.S. District Judge.
Frida Marko is a citizen of Albania who has been a legal
permanent resident of the United States since 2008. Before
her arrival in the United States, Petitioner submitted a
nonimmigrant visa application on at least two occasions:
first in March of 1999 and second in September of 1999. The
former application was denied, but the latter was granted.
Petitioner came to the United States on the approved
nonimmigrant visa and remained in Michigan thereafter. In
time she became a Legal Permanent Resident and applied for
naturalization. After her application for naturalization was
denied on the basis that she made fraudulent statements on
her September 1999 application, Ms. Marko brought this suit
for judicial review.
1999, Petitioner had two passports. One was issued in
November 1998 to “Frida Marko, ” her married
name, and contained the names and birthdates of her children.
(Dkt. 27-10, pg. 4). Her own birthdate was listed, correctly,
as June 10, 1957. (Id. at pg. 3). This passport was
valid until 2003. (Id.). A second passport was
issued in September of 1999 to Frida Tomco, Petitioner's
maiden name. (Dkt. 27-13, pg. 3). On this passport, the page
for children was blank, and Petitioner's birth date was
listed as July 9, 1957. (Id. pg. 3-4). The passports
also have different “personal numbers.”
first applied for a nonimmigrant visa to the United States in
March of 1999, as Frida Marko, to attend a relative's
baptism in Michigan. (Dkt. 27-2, pg. 38-39). She paid
“[m]aybe a thousand dollars” to a professional to
assist her in preparing her visa, but her application was
ultimately unsuccessful. (Id. at 42-44). State
Department records show Petitioner, as Frida Marko, also
applied for a visa in May of 1999 (Dkt. 27-9), but Petitioner
denies that she applied then. In its visa section, her Marko
passport bears a stamp that reads, “U.S. EMBASSY SKOPJE
APPLICATION RECEIVED ON MAR 08 1999.” (Dkt. 27-10, pg.
25). Directly beneath, another stamp reads “MAY 27,
1999.” (Id.). The March visa application was
denied under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and
Nationality Act (“INA”) (Dkt. 34-2), which
provides for a rebuttable presumption that every applicant is
an immigrant unless he or she proves to be eligible for
non-immigrant status. INA § 214(b).
applied again for a nonimmigrant visa on September 10, 1999.
For this application she hired a woman who held herself out
to be an employee of the U.N. Population Fund. (Dkt. 27-2,
pg. 46). The woman offered to help Petitioner fill out an
application to attend a seminar on business development in
Washington, D.C. (Id. at 47). Petitioner paid this
woman $5, 450 to register for the seminar and $550 to fill
out the application. (Id. at 50). Petitioner
testified that she had arranged the visit both to attend the
conference and to visit her family. (Id. at 54). Her
daughters and husband were already living in the United
States. Petitioner now suspects that she was deceived by this
woman, and that “all of this was done for money.”
(Id. at 57). Petitioner remembers little of her
subsequent interview at the U.S. Embassy. She testified that
she understood no English at the time, and that another woman
with whom she was travelling spoke to the officer at the
embassy. (Id. at 59-62).
this visa application, Petitioner applied using her Frida
Tomco passport. As a result, her date of birth is listed as
July 7, 1957. (Id. at 63). Her husband's name is
listed (incorrectly) as Niko Tomco (Id.). The visa
indicates that Petitioner was a Finance Assistant for the
U.N. Population Fund. (Id. at 67). It is undisputed
that all of these facts are incorrect. Petitioner maintains,
however, that she could not have read the document and that
her signature at the bottom of the application is not
authentic. The application was approved, and Petitioner was
given a one-month nonimmigrant visa. (Id. at 105).
January 31, 2000 “Refusal Worksheet” noted as
The applicant applied for and received a [nonimmigrant visa]
at this Embassy on September 10, 1999. She stated she was a
Finance Assistant for the UN Population Fund Office in Tirana
travelling on official business and presented a letter to
that effect. AFU Tirana investigation revealed the document
to be a forgery. (Dkt. 27-8).
conference was to be held from October 4 to October 15th.
(Dkt. 27-2 at 88). Petitioner flew to Washington D.C. on
September 23, 1999 and then caught a connecting flight to
Michigan, where she reunited with her husband and daughter.
(Id. at 88-90). Petitioner testified that her
husband was injured at the time and in the process of
applying for asylum, and that her testimony could be helpful
to his case. She decided to remain in Michigan, reasoning
that if she returned to Albania she would not be permitted to
return to the United States to testify on his behalf at his
asylum interview. (Id. at 110).
2009, Petitioner acquired Permanent Legal Resident status.
She subsequently applied for naturalization in 2017. Her
naturalization application was denied. On October 16, 2017,
she petitioned for a rehearing of this denial and appeared
for a hearing on December 6, 2017. (Dkt. 27-11). The Notice
of Decision reaffirmed her denial and made the following
On September 14, 2017, USCIS denied your form N-400 because
you were not lawfully admitted for permanent residence in
accordance with INA § 318…A review of USCIS
records indicates that in 1999 you filed a nonimmigrant visa
application on grounds that you were employed in the UN
Population Fund Office (UNFPO) and that you were travelling
to the United States on official business on behalf of this
entity. It was later discovered that your application was
fraudulently submitted and the supporting documents were
forged. Your non-immigrant visa application was denied and
you were deemed inadmissible to the United States pursuant to
INA § 212(a)(6)(C)(i) as an alien who, by fraud, or
willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seeks to procure
(or has sought to procure or who has procured) a visa, other
document, or admission into the United States or other
benefit under the Act. (Dkt. 27-11).