United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
REMILEKUN K. DAVIS, Plaintiff,
JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, et al. Defendants.
MEMORANDUM AND OPINION
Rosenthal Chief United States District Judge
plaintiff, Remilekun Davis, was detained on March 20, 2017
during his annual “check-in” with Immigrations
and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Because he served in the
United States military during a period of conflict, Davis was
eligible for “military naturalization” under the
Immigration Nationality Act § 329. His application was
denied because the United States Citizenship and Immigrations
Services found that Davis was not a person of good moral
character. Davis seeks a temporary restraining order
releasing him from ICE custody because his naturalization
application was wrongfully denied and his current confinement
results from that decision.
on careful review of the application and response, the
record, and the relevant law, Davis's temporary
restraining order application is denied. (Docket Entry No.
4). The reasons are set out below.
actual history is unclear. What is clear is that his
description of his own life changed often. Fact and fiction
became hard to separate years ago. Davis now alleges that he
does not know where he was born or where his parents are, and
that he is “stateless.” Davis alleges that he
grew up with a U.S. Virgin Islands birth certificate and
believed that he had been adopted from that territory. He
filed an asylum application under the name Akeem Aderemi
Lawal in January 1997, stating that he was a Nigerian
citizen. (Docket Entry No. 5, Exs. A, B). Davis was ordered
to show cause and appear before an immigration judge; he
failed to appear. (Id., Ex. C). The court granted
Davis voluntary departure, but after he failed to leave, a
final order removing him to Nigeria was issued.
(Id.). Instead of leaving the country, Davis moved
to Missouri and obtained a driver's license under a
different name. (Docket Entry No. 4-1 at 13-14).
served in the United States Army from April 2001 to August
2004. While serving in the Army, Davis applied for a
passport. Davis alleges that during that process he first
learned that his U.S. Virgin Islands birth certificate was
fraudulent. But when he was arrested and charged with making
a false statement on a passport application, he pleaded
guilty. In 2004, Davis was arrested again and charged with
making a false claim to U.S. citizenship, which later
resulted in charges of making a false declaration before a
grand jury. He pleaded guilty, received a 10-month sentence,
and was placed in removal proceedings.
applied for military naturalization in 2004, twice in 2009,
and again in 2014. His application was denied all four times.
When Davis reported to ICE for his yearly check-in on March
20, 2017, he was arrested and detained. He filed this
petition after two days in ICE custody.
The USCIS Findings
applied for military naturalization on April 1, 2014. (Docket
Entry No. 4 at ¶ 5). On June 3, 2015, his application
was denied by the United States Citizenship and Immigration
Services, or USCIS. (Id. at ¶ 5; Docket Entry
No. 4-1 at 10-23). The sole reason for the denial was that
Davis had not shown good moral character for at least one
year before filing his naturalization application. That
decision stemmed from multiple inconsistencies in Davis's
naturalization and asylum applications over the years and in
his sworn statements before immigration officers. (Docket
Entry No. 4-1 at 10-23).
USCIS decision states that Davis “continue[d] to
attempt to manipulate the facts regarding [his] entry into
the United States” and “changed the story of
[his] history so frequently in the many interviews and
investigations which  resulted from the creation of
multiple identities, military service, multiple arrests, and
multiple attempts to obtain status as a naturalized citizen
of the United States” that Davis had “no
credibility” on the issues identified by USCIS.
(Id. at 19-20). The USCIS found that Davis's
“version of the events regarding [his] history and
memory loss is and has been a convenient and elaborate scheme
 used to manipulate and create a new identity” once
Davis “became aware that [he was] not going to be able
to obtain a valid status in the United States any other
way.” (Id. at 20). With that finding, USCIS
determined that Davis had “again given false testimony
under oath with the intent to obtain an immigration
benefit” and therefore could not show that he had been
a person of good moral character. (Id. at 20).
2, 2015, Davis filed a Form N-336, to request a hearing on a
decision in naturalization proceedings. His Form N-336 was
denied on March 20, 2017-the same day he was detained by ICE.
filed this petition for a writ of habeas corpus on March 22,
2017, a first amended complaint on March 23, 2017, and a
second amended complaint on March 27, 2017. (Docket Entry
Nos. 1, 2, 4). He alleges that his naturalization application
was wrongfully denied, making his current detention in ICE
unlawful. He seeks a temporary restraining order that would
release him from ICE custody. He also asserted a due process