Serrano v. U.S. Attorney General, et al., No. 10-12990 (11th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff appealed the district court's judgment dismissing his petition for a writ of mandamus and his complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 551 et seq. Plaintiff's complaint requested the district court to mandamus the defendants (1) to determine as a matter of law that plaintiff had been "admitted" to the United States for purposes of his application for adjustment of status under 8 U.S.C. 1255(a) and (2) to re-open and re-adjudicate plaintiff's application for adjustment of status, which was previously denied. The court held that plaintiff could not satisfy the requirements for mandamus relief and that he had not demonstrated that he lacked an adequate remedy for obtaining relief. In fact, plaintiff had sued under the APA, which provided an adequate remedy. Therefore, the court held that because plaintiff had an adequate remedy available to him, the district court properly dismissed his request for mandamus relief. The court also held that the plain language of section 1255(a) limited eligibility for status adjustment to an alien who had been inspected and admitted or paroled. That an alien with Temporary Protected Status had lawful status as a nonimmigrant for purposes of adjusting his status did not change section 1255(a)'s threshold requirement that he was eligible for adjustment of status only if he was initially inspected and admitted or paroled. Accordingly, the court held that the district court's ruling was consistent with the plain language of the statute. Furthermore, even if the statutory language was ambiguous, the court deferred to the Department of Homeland Security's consistent and well-reasoned interpretation of the interplay between section 1255(a) and section 1254a(f)(4). Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the petition and complaint.