Kaufman v. Nielsen

The DC Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment for USCIS in an action filed by plaintiff, under the Administrative Procedure Act, to renounce his United States citizenship. USCIS denied plaintiff's renunciation request, claiming that he lacked the "intention" necessary to relinquish his citizenship under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Determining that plaintiff's claim was ripe for review, the court held that the Tritten Letter's interpretation of "intention" in 8 U.S.C. 1481 did not warrant Chevron deference. Absent Chevron deference, the court held that USCIS's interpretation was in tension with the statute's structure; USCIS's interpretation rested on a faulty premise that plaintiff did not intend to relinquish his citizenship because one's mere physical presence in the United States did not require exercising a right of citizenship; and USCIS purported to adopt the State Department's interpretation of the intention requirement, but it misconstrued the State Department's approach. Therefore, the Tritten Letter's interpretation of "intention" was impermissible. View "Kaufman v. Nielsen" on Justia Law