Our firm was proud to represent the plaintiffs in Canal A Media v. USCIS, a recent decision from a federal appeals court. The case involves complex questions of what is called “jurisdiction”—a court’s power to consider a party’s claims in immigration cases.
This case involved a basic question: if a company petitions for a work visa for someone it hopes to hire, and the petition is denied, what court is the right one to get review of that denial? If the intended beneficiary of the visa petition is fighting deportation in immigration court, can the company that filed the petition file a lawsuit right away while the deportation case is ongoing? Or must the company rely on the foreign worker to seek review of the visa petition denial after a final deportation order is entered?
If the question sounds arcane and technical . . . well, you’re right, it is. But the answer affects something truly fundamental: a party’s basic right to judicial review. If, as the government claimed, review is available only after a deportation order is entered, then the company that filed the petition couldn’t get review in any court. That’s because a company can’t seek review of its employee’s deportation order. And so the government’s theory would have closed the courthouse doors to companies seeking to sponsor foreign workers. And because it had no limiting principle, it could have closed the courthouse doors for family-based petitions, too.
Fortunately, the appeals court rejected the government’s position and upheld the right of companies—including our clients—to get their day in court! We are proud of this decision in favor of our clients and of the rule of law.