A former US visa-holding entrepreneur who had planned to live in Canada is suing to overturn her removal from the country.
The lawsuit was filed last week in the Northern District of California, in a case that has become a rallying cry for other expats to challenge their removal.
Ms Hwang, who is a former fashion designer, was denied a “green card” in December, after an appeals court overturned her removal.
Her lawsuit claims she was “victimised” by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) department.
The department’s Immigration Removal Operations division told the court it “will not intervene in the removal process” and said it does not “impose any policy or process on individuals who do not have the necessary documentation”.
Ms Hwan, who has lived in Canada for more than three years, told the Washington Post she was hopeful the case could help other Americans who are still waiting for their applications to be processed.
“My hope is that if this case is successful, other individuals and families who are facing the same issues will now have the courage to take action,” she said.
Ms Kim, an Australian citizen, had applied for a green card in the past.
She said she had worked for a company in Hong Kong for nearly two years, and her company was looking for a way to open a manufacturing facility in the United States.
“I wanted to bring my experience to this country and to bring a manufacturing business here to bring back jobs and opportunities to the United State,” she told the Post.
The suit seeks $500,000 in damages, alleging she was discriminated against because she was a US citizen.
The agency said in a statement: “Immigration and Customs and Enforcement is committed to providing the best possible care to all individuals in the immigration system.
The agency did not respond to a request for comment. “
ICE has a strict set of rules for determining when a case is appropriate for enforcement.”
The agency did not respond to a request for comment.
The Washington Post has contacted Immigration and Custom Enforcement for comment on Ms Kim’s case.