United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
G. BYRON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
cause comes before the Court without oral argument on
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Doc. 19), filed February
23, 2018. Plaintiff responded in opposition on Marc h 23,
2018. (Doc. 22). With briefing complete, the matter is now
ripe. Upon consideration, the Complaint is due to be
Joseph Labatte (“Labatte”)-a
Haitian citizen-entered the Unites States near Mona Isle,
Puerto Rico, in June 2012. (Doc. 1, pp. 1, 4
(“Complaint”)). Soon after,
Labatte was apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection
(“CBP”) officers. (Id.
at p. 4). CBP determined Labatte was an “immigrant not
in possession of a valid unexpir ed immigrant visa, reentry
permit, border crossing card, or other valid entry document
required by the Immigration and Nationality Act
[(‘INA')].” (Doc. 1-5). As
such, Labatte was found inadmissible under INA §
212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I), 8 U.S.C. § 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I).
(Id.). On July 5, 2012, CBP ordered the expedited
removal of Labatte pursuant to INA § 235(b)(1) and 8
U.S.C. § 1225. (Doc. 1, p. 4).
CBP transferred Labatte to the custody of Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (“ICE”),
which released him on July 25, 2012, subject to an order of
supervision. (Id.). On January 9, 2013, an ICE
Asylum Officer interviewed Labatte and found him “to
have credible fear.” (Doc. 1-5). On January 23, 2013,
ICE issued a Notic e for Labatte to appear before an
Immigration Judge (“IJ”). (Doc.
19-1). The Notice charged that Labatte was subject to removal
under INA § 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I). (Id.).
February 5, 2013, ICE issued a document that
“paroled” Labatte into the United States for
“8 C.F.R. 212(d)(5) Court
Proceedings.” (Doc. 1, p. 5; Doc. 1-6). A February 1,
2013, letter from ICE similarly stated: “We have
concluded that you [Labatte] meet the criteria for
parole.” (Doc. 1-5). Labatte thereafter filed a Form
I-589, Application for Political Asylum and for Withholding
of Removal on February 21, 2013. (Doc. 1, p. 5). On May 22,
2013, the IJ denied Labatte's Form I-589 application, and
ordered Labatte be removed from the United States.
March 14, 2016, Labatte filed a Form I-485, Application to
Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with the
Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Immigration
Services (“USCIS”). (Doc. 1, p.
1; Doc. 1-2). The same day, Labatte's wife, co-Plaintiff
Amelia McDonald (“McDonald”),
filed a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on his
behalf. (Doc. 1, p. 2; Doc. 1-1).
September 20, 2016, Labatte and McDonald reported to the
USCIS field office in Orlando, Florida, for a scheduled
interview. (Doc. 1, p. 4). After, the officer conducting the
interview told them that a decision as to Labatte's
immigration status was forthcoming. (Id.). Having
not received a decision, Labatte and McDonald filed this
action against several acting secretaries and field office
directors of the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS
seeking a writ of mandamus compelling Defendants to
“reach a proper decision as to the Form I-130 and Form
I-485, ” pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act
(“APA”), 5 U.S.C. §§
701-06, and the Mandamus Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1361.
(Id. at p. 8).
move to dismiss, charging that they lack jurisdiction to
process Plaintiffs' applications for adjustment of
status. (Doc. 19).
STANDARD OF REVIEW
Motion to Dismiss Standard
Defendants invoke Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
(“Rule”) 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6),
the Court construes the motion as a motion to dismiss for
failure to state a claim only under Rule
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,
” set forth in “numbered paragraphs each limited
as far as practicable to a single set of
circumstances.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a), 10(b). Thus, to
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the complaint
“must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to ‘state a claim to relief that is plausible on
its face.'” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S.
662, 678 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly,
550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)). Courts must also view the
complaint in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and
resolve any doubts as to the sufficiency of the complaint in
the plaintiff's favor. Hunnings v. Texaco, Inc.,
29 F.3d 1480, 1483 (11th Cir. 1994) (per curiam). A claim is
plausible on its face when the plaintiff “pleads
factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable
inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct