The court rejected the petitioner's asylum claim based on her fear that her daughters will be subject to FGM if they return to Senegal, and held that DHS rebutted the presumption of future persecution based on her own resistance to FGM. (Dieng v. Holder, 11/8/12)
The Court finds No Objectively Reasonable Fear of Future Persecution for Kenyan Professor. The court denied asylum, upholding the BIA's conclusion that the petitioner did not show an objectively reasonable fear of future persecution and rejecting the argument that the IJ violated due process rights by delaying his decision. (Wanyama v. Holder, 11/1/12)
The court upheld the BIA's conclusion that the petitioner committed a "serious, nonpolitical crime" when he attacked a family planning official in China and was thus ineligible for asylum under INA §208(b)(2)(A)(iii). (Zheng v. Holder, 10/31/12)
The Eighth Circuit held that two new letters in support of the petitioner's asylum claim did not establish a change in circumstances or undermine the initial determination that he failed to establish a well-founded fear of persecution. (Enrique Lopez-Mendez v. Holder)
The Eighth Circuit denied the petitioner's asylum application, and rejected her argument that the BIA erred in denying her motion to terminate removal proceedings under the Federal First Offender Act (FFOA).(Erasmo Rojas-Perez v. Holder)
The First Circuit denied the withholding applications, which were based on the petitioners' fear that their U.S.-citizen son could be kidnapped if they returned to Mexico, after a discussion of the "social visibility" requirement. (Rita Yanovna Job v. Holder)
The Eighth Circuit remanded the case, holding that the BIA's basis for rejecting the asylum claim was unclear, that it may have relied on an incorrect statement of the law, and that it engaged in improper fact-finding when denying the cancellation claim.(Jose Julio Granadeno-Rosales v. Holder)
The Board held that Matter of N-A-M-, which held that an offense need not be an aggravated felony to be considering a particularly serious crime for purposes of barring asylum, applies to cases in the Third Circuit. Matter of M-H-, 26 I&N Dec. 46 (BIA 2012). AILA Doc. No. 12111641.Matter of M-H-, Respondent
Court Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Asylum Regulation
The Seventh Circuit found that it did not have jurisdiction to review the BIA's conclusion that the petitioner's asylum application was untimely, rejecting the argument that 8 CFR §1208.4(a)(5)(iv) is unconstitutionally vague.(Marko Vrljicak v. Holder)
CA3 Denies Asylum Applicant's Motion to Reopen
The court upheld the BIA's denial of the motion to reopen, noting that the petitioner did not show how he acquired previously unavailable evidence and that he failed to file a new asylum application as required by the regulations. (Lin v. Atty' Gen., 11/27/12)
CA7 Holds Political Opinion Was Not Central Motivation for Persecution of Asylum Applicant. Hafsa Shaikh v. Holder
CA8 Denies Guatemalan Asylum and Withholding Claim
The court found the Guatemalan petitioner could not establish past persecution based on attacks on family members and an incident where the PNC handcuffed, beat, and burned him with a cigarette. (Garcia-Colindres v. Holder, 11/30/12)
CA7 Denies Motion to Reopen Based on Change in Country Conditions
The asylum applicant argued her case should be reopened due to the birth of her two USC children and the enforcement of China's family planning policy, but the court held there was a change in personal circumstances, not country conditions. (Zheng v. Holder, 11/27/12)
Seventh Circuit Refuses To Review Timeliness Challenge To BIA Decision In Asylum Case, Concludes 8 C.F.R. § 1208.4(a)(5)(iv) Is Not Unconstitutionally Vague. Marko Vrljicak v. Holder
The Eighth Circuit found that the BIA adequately addressed the petitioner's asylum claim, which was based on his HIV-positive status, and upheld the IJ's adverse credibility finding and the decision to exclude medical records. R.K.N. v. Holder
Court Finds DHS Did Not Violate Asylum Applicant's Confidentiality Rights When Requested Verification of the Death Certificate The court rejected the petitioner's arguments that an overseas DHS investigation violated her confidentiality rights and that the IJ considered untrustworthy evidence, and upheld the BIA's conclusion she had not suffered past persecution. (La v. Holder, 12/13/12)
The Second Circuit vacated the BIA order denying asylum, holding that a group of potential witnesses against a KLA leader constituted a particular social group that was visible to persecutors and the wider community, and remanded the case for further consideration. (Gashi v. Holder, 12/13/12)
The Sixth Circuit remanded the case, holding that the BIA abused its discretion when it considered whether there were changed country conditions justifying the filing of an untimely motion and when it dismissed evidence simply because the statements were not made before a notary public. (Zhang v. Holder, 12/13/12)
CA1 Upholds Adverse Credibility Determination
The court upheld the IJ's conclusion that the asylum applicants' testimony was not credible, and rejected the argument that the BIA improvidently fashioned its own factual findings in order to uphold the adverse credibility determination. (Chen v. Holder, 12/21/12)
CA1 Denies Motion to Reopen Based on Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
The court upheld the conclusion that the motion to reopen was untimely, and that equitable tolling could not apply because the petitioner did not exercise due diligence in pursuing his case. (Bead v. Holder, 1/7/13)
CA8 Finds BIA Failed to Consider Future Persecution Claim
The court found that while the petitioner did not establish that he experienced past persecution, the BIA failed to consider one aspect of his distinct claim of a well-founded fear of future persecution and remanded the case. (Tegegn v. Holder, 1/11/13) AILA Doc. No. 13011748.
The court held that the petitioner was limited by the modified categorical approach in what evidence he could present to show that his 1996 conviction was not a crime of violence, despite the record of the conviction is inconclusive. (Mondragon v. Holder, 1/31/13)
The court held that a conviction under California Penal Code §210.5 for false imprisonment is a categorical crime of violence because it involves a substantial risk that force may be used. (Barragan-Lopez v. Holder, 1/29/13) (false imprisonment case)
The court upheld the IJ's adverse credibility determination and denied asylum, withholding, and CAT relief, finding that the IJ highlighted the inconsistencies and implausibilities in the applications, testimony, and hearing exhibits. (Fofana v. Holder, 1/29/13) (adverse credibility)
CA9 Denies Adjustment Where Record on Drug Conviction Is Inconclusive
BIA Reverses IJ on 1-Year Asylum Filing Deadline
In an unpublished decision, the BIA found that the respondent qualified for an exception to the 1-year filing deadline based on her mother's later arrest by Chinese officials, noting that "changed personal circumstances may form the basis of an exception." Read all here »
CA7 Remands Pakistani Asylum Case
The court granted the petition and remanded the asylum case, holding that the BIA's conclusion that the petitioner's attackers were motivated solely by a desire for personal revenge is not supported by substantial evidence. (Mustafa v. Holder, 2/11/13).
CA7 on In Absentia Orders of Removal
The court set aside the in absentia order of removal, finding that the petitioner was not given an opportunity to present evidence that her case should be reopened because she never received notice of the hearing. (Smykiene v. Holder, 2/13/13)
CA9 Remands Asylum Case on Social Visibility Requirement
In an en banc decision, the court held that the BIA misapplied its own precedent on social group membership when it denied petitioner's asylum claim because of a lack of "social visibility." (Henriquez-Rivas v. Holder, 2/13/13)
CA7 Upholds Denial of Good-Faith Marriage Waiver
The court upheld the denial of the petitioner's request for a good-faith marriage waiver, finding the removal proceedings were not unfair and that the IJ's adverse credibility determination was reasonable. (Boadi v. Holder, 2/7/13)
CA6 Holds Conspiracy to Traffic in Identification Documents is CIMT
The court held that the petitioner's conviction for conspiracy to traffic in identification documents under 18 U.S.C. §1028(f) qualifies as a crime involving moral turpitude because the statute inherently involves deceit. (Yeremin v. Holder, 2/14/13)
Cruz-Mayaho v. Holder (7th Circuit, 10/17/2012) The court denied or dismissed three consolidated petitions for review filed by the Mexican petitioner, holding that it had no jurisdiction to review one petition and that the petitioner was not entitled to asylum or CAT relief.
Cabas v. Holder (1st Circuit, 9/25/2012) The court held it did not have jurisdiction to review the IJ’s decision that the asylum application was untimely, and denied withholding, finding that the petitioner had not proved past persecution nor a likelihood future persecution.
Camara v. Holder (6th Circuit, 1/15/2013). The court held the petitioner was not eligible for asylum or withholding of removal because he sought relief as a derivative of his wife, whose asylum application was denied, and that withholding of removal is not available derivatively.
CA2 Holds NY Conviction for Sale of Controlled Substance is Aggravated Felony
The court held that the petitioner's conviction for third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance in violation of New York Penal Law § 220.39(1) was an aggravated felony. (Pascual v. Holder, 2/19/13)
CA9 Upholds BIA's Adverse Determination on Extraordinary Circumstances
The court held the asylum application was time-barred and found the primary reasons the petitioner delayed filing her application were lack of money and inability to speak English, and not the psychiatric problems she suffered. (Gasparyan v. Holder, 2/20/13)
Gay Asylum Seeker from Mexico is Granted Asylum after entering the country 18 years ago.
USCIS Asylum Division Memo on Credible Fear Checklist Pilot Program
USCIS Asylum Division memorandum from Acting Chief Ted Kim dated 1/14/13 establishing a pilot program for the use of a credible fear determination checklist in place of the brief written assessment currently required.
CA7 Finds BIA and IJ Overlooked Material Evidence
The court remanded the case, holding that the IJ and BIA overlooked material evidence demonstrating that the petitioner suffered past persecution in Palestine on account of his political opinion. (Jabr v. Holder, 4/2/13)
In this unpublished decision, the IJ granted humanitarian asylum pursuant to 8 C.F.R. §1208.13(b)(1)(iii)(B) based on the reasonable possibility that the applicant would suffer other serious harm in Romania.
Confidentiality of DHS Overseas Investigation
Jabr v. Holder (7th Circuit, 4/2/2013). The court remanded the case, holding that the IJ and BIA overlooked material evidence demonstrating that the petitioner suffered past persecution in Palestine on account of his political opinion.
La v. Holder (8th Circuit, 12/13/2012). The court rejected the petitioner’s arguments that an overseas DHS investigation violated her confidentiality rights and that the IJ considered untrustworthy evidence, and upheld the BIA’s conclusion she had not suffered past persecution.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Gasparian v. Holder (1st Circuit, 12/3/2012). The court upheld the denial of the petitioners’ motion to reopen their asylum case based on changed circumstances but issued a 90-day stay of mandate to allow the son to apply for deferred action for childhood arrivals.
Reentry After Removal
Ortiz-Alfaro v. Holder (9th Circuit, 8/27/2012) The court held it lacked jurisdiction to review the petitioner's challenge to the regulations--which bar him from seeking asylum because he is subject to reinstatement--because DHS has not completed the reasonable fear proceedings.
Failure to Consider All Evidence or All Claims
Alphonsus v. Holder (9th Circuit, 1/18/2013). The court held it lacked jurisdiction to review the petitioner's challenge to the regulations--which bar him from seeking asylum because he is subject to reinstatement--because DHS has not completed the reasonable fear proceedings
Khattak v. Holder (1st. Circuit, 1/17/2013). The court found that the BIA and IJ did not properly consider the evidence supporting the petitioner’s claim that he could face future persecution in Pakistan by the Taliban because he is an ANP activist and a special police officer.
The Board held that an individual who is a citizen or national of more than one country but has no fear of persecution in one of those countries does not qualify as a refugee under INA §101(a)(42). Matter of B-R-, 26 I&N Dec. 119 (BIA 2013)
The court remanded the CAT and asylum claims back to the BIA, holding that the BIA failed to consider supporting evidence and that the record compelled the conclusion that the petitioner suffered past persecution by Maoists in Nepal. (Karki v. Holder, 4/30/13)
The court held that the BIA failed to meaningfully to address documents bolstering the petitioner's assertion that conditions in China have changed for the worse, and remanded the case to the BIA. (Ni v. Holder, 4/26/13)
Castro-Gutierrez v. Holder (8th Circuit, 4/22/13). The court held that the petitioner was ineligible for withholding of removal because she failed to establish that it would be unreasonable for her to relocate, and found she had not suffered from past persecution.
Matter of M-Z-M-R-, 26 I&N Dec. 28 (BIA 2012). The Board remanded the asylum case to the IJ to determine whether the respondent could avoid future persecution by relocating to another part of Sri Lanka and whether it would be reasonable to expect him to do so.
The court directed the BIA to re-evaluate whether the petitioner's opposition to the FMLN's strategy of using violence constitutes a political opinion and address whether the petitioner established a likelihood of future persecution. (Regalado-Escobar v. Holder, 6/5/13)
The Board sustained the appeal for reconsideration of the respondent's credibility and her eligibility for asylum from Syria. BIA also granted the respondent's request for future proceedings to be before a different Immigration Judge. Courtesy of Robert DeKelaita. Read here »
The court upheld the denial of the petitioner's motion to reopen his 1999 removal proceedings, finding that the BIA did not abuse its discretion when it held that the petitioner failed to establish a material change in country conditions in Guatemala. (Jutus v. Holder, 7/17/13)
While the IJ originally concluded that the petitioner's fear of getting an IUD implanted if she returns to China constituted a well-founded fear of persecution, the court upheld the BIA's determination that the fear is too speculative to be considered well-founded. (Lin v. Holder, 7/23/13)
The court upheld the denial of the petitioner's motion to reopen based on changed country conditions and found that the petitioner's fear of personal retaliation due to his role in another man's incarceration was not on account a protected ground. (Lopez v. Holder, 7/15/13)
In this 72-page decision, the court determined which of the five federal court proceedings and numerous administrative proceedings the petitioner was entitled to EAJA fees for and considered arguments for fee award reductions and enhancements. (Castaneda v. Holder, 7/17/13)
CA6 upheld that BIA's determination that young Salvadoran males who refuse recruitment by the MS gang do not constitute a cognizable particular social group, and clarified the social visibility requirement. (Umana-Ramos v. Holder, 7/30/13)
The court remanded, finding the BIA abused its discretion on the denial of the motion to reopen when it did not consider the factually distinct claims of future persecution in Belarus and rejected these claims based solely on the past adverse credibility finding. (Boika v. Holder, 8/16/13)
The court remanded and held that in adverse credibility finding due to the lack of supporting documents, the IJ must explain why the documents are "reasonably available," otherwise, a remand is warranted. (Huang v. Holder, 8/1/13)
The court granted the petition for review, finding that the IJ prejudiced the petitioner by denying his constitutional right to testify in support of his asylum application and making an adverse credibility finding based principally on the cross-examination. (Oshodi v. Holder, 8/27/13)
The court granted asylum, finding that the petitioner established a claim of past persecution based on the abuses endured by her Seventh Day Adventist parents while she was a child in Belarus, and remanded the withholding and CAT claims for further consideration. (Rusak v. Holder, 8/22/13)
The court affirmed the final removal order, finding the BIA and IJ's denial of the petitioners' application for asylum was supported by substantial evidence, including evidence from DOS country reports of fundamental political changes in Albania. (Vasili v. Holder, 10/16/13)
Al Ramahi v. Holder (9th Circuit, 8/6/2013). The court held the petitioners’ over fifteen-month delay in seeking asylum after changed or extraordinary circumstances was not reasonable where they alleged the delay was due to ineffective assistance of counsel and inability to file after the issuance of the NTA.
Bitsin v. Holder (7th Circuit, 5/31/2013). The court found that it did not have jurisdiction to review whether the petitioner’s asylum application was untimely and that there were no changed circumstances that excused the late filing, holding that the petitioner’s argument was not a pure question of law.
Chen v. Holder (7th Circuit, 5/9/2013). The court wrote that the BIA brushed aside whether the petitioner faces a substantial risk of compulsory sterilization if she is removed to China, critiqued the BIA for its treatment of the evidence, and remanded the case.
The court granted asylum, finding that the Petitioner's refusal to testify, taken in conjunction with impeachment evidence, could not satisfy DHS's burden to terminate asylum by a preponderance of the evidence. (Urooj v. Holder, 11/6/13)
The court granted the petition and remanded, holding that the IJ violated due process by allowing the government to introduce a forensic report concerning a medical document without prior notice and by refusing a continuance to investigate the report. (Bondarenko v. Holder, 10/25/13)
Court Finds Asylum Eligibility for Pentecostal Russian
The First Circuit found Petitioner established eligibility for asylum and that the BIA erred when it found that the persecution the Petitioner experienced in Russia was not "on account of" his Pentecostal faith.
In an unpublished decision, the court granted the petition, finding the adverse credibility finding was not supported by specific, cogent reasons and remanded for the BIA to consider the corroborating evidence. (Olivares v. U.S. Att'y Gen., 11/22/13)
Disagreeing with five other circuits, the court held that due process was not violated when the BIA denied relief on adverse credibility grounds based on a DOS overseas investigation indicating petitioner submitted fraudulent evidence. (Angov v. Holder, 12/4/13)
Unpublished BIA decision remanding, finding the IJ erred when concluding the respondent could not claim derivative status through her husband's approved asylum application because she entered the U.S. as a nonimmigrant prior to her husband.
Unpublished BIA decision finding respondent eligible for asylum, finding compelling reasons for being unwilling to return to Senegal based on female genital mutilation (FGM) irrespective of whether respondent has a well-founded fear of future persecution.
Unpublished BIA decision remanding after finding that the respondent's motion, stating that conditions for Assyrian Christians have gotten worse since U.S. troops departed Iraq in December 2011, demonstrated prima facie eligibility for asylum and withholding.
In an unpublished decision, the BIA found the respondent eligible for asylum, noting the respondent of the compelling reasons is unwilling to return to Senegal based on past female genital mutilation (FGM) irrespective of whether she has a well-founded fear of future persecution.
The court denied the claim for asylum, upholding the IJ and BIA conclusions that improved country conditions in Albania rebutted the petitioner's presumption of a well-founded fear of persecution based on either his democratic political opinion or Greek ethnicity. (Ruci v. Holder, 12/23/13)
The court dismissed the motion to reopen as untimely and denied the motion to reconsider, finding no evidence of legal error, nor abuse of discretion. (Saka v. Holder, 12/23/13)
The court declined to review the asylum denial, noting that although the BIA and IJ's opinions were flawed, the inadequacy of the lawyer's brief, along with petitioner's failure to present evidence of her financial situation, precluded vacating the asylum denial. (Chen v. Holder, 12/11/13)
The court declined to review the asylum denial, upholding the BIA’s finding of inconsistencies in petitioner’s statements regarding her marital status and forced abortion and noting the DOS report that population controls are no longer strictly enforced in China. (Lin v. Holder)
Kulakchyan v. Holder (9th Circuit, 9/18/2013). The court denied the petition for review of the BIA’s decision affirming an IJ’s determination that the petitioner knowingly filed a frivolous asylum application and that she was statutorily barred from adjustment of status and a 212(i) waiver on that basis.
Pavlov v. Holder (7th Circuit, 10/1/2012) The court found that the petitioner is ineligible for adjustment because he knowingly filed a frivolous asylum application with USCIS, and held that the written advisals provided on Form I–589 are sufficient notice under INA §208(d)(4)(A).
Cheema v. Holder (9th Circuit, 9/6/2012) The court held that written advisals provided on the Form I-589 asylum application are sufficient notice under INA § 208(d)(4)(A) of the consequences of filing a frivolous asylum application.
The court denied the petition for review, applying the maxim falsus in uno, falsus in the omnibus to find those material inconsistencies in testimony regarding one claim support an adverse credibility determination on another claim in a pre-REAL ID Act case. (Li v. Holder, 12/31/13)
Unpublished BIA decision upholds the grant of cancellation under NACARA upon finding respondent did not provide "material support" to guerillas who stole food from his store at gunpoint. (Matter of Gonzales, 11/26/13)
Unpublished BIA decision sustaining the appeal for the asylum denial, finding that the respondent established fear of future persecution by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas regarding efforts to sell land to the Israeli government.
The Seventh Circuit remanded, finding that the petitioner suffered direct persecution on account of being a landowner of means who refused to cooperate with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The court found that the harm the IJ and BIA described as "derivative" was not derivative at all and that the FARC's threatening and kidnapping of the petitioner's father was meant as a direct threat to the petitioner.
Unpublished BIA decision finds effeminate gay males from Mexico with female gender identities to qualify as a particular social group for purposes of asylum and withholding of removal. (Matter of M-G-O-, 2/4/14)
The court held the evidence did not compel the conclusion that the petitioner was credible, the IJ's well-supported demeanor finding was entitled to special deference, and the IJ appropriately considered the record as a whole and the totality of the circumstances. (Huang v. Holder, 3/12/14)
The court found that the petitioner was unable to articulate any political opinion regarding the Chinese government's taking of his property and dismissed the asylum petition for lack of jurisdiction. (Chen v. Holder, 3/10/14)
The court found the BIA did not engage in improper fact-finding when it concluded that petitioner was not eligible for withholding of removal because his California conviction for transportation of methamphetamine constituted a particularly serious crime. (Perez-Palafox v. Holder, 3/11/14)
The court found the removal order of the Mexican petitioner seeking asylum under the social group of honest police officers could not stand without further proceedings, and the distinction between honest police and effective honest police was without merit. (R.R.D. v. Holder, 3/19/14)
The court found it lacked jurisdiction to review the BIA's conclusion that the Chinese petitioner's asylum application was time-barred, and denied his CAT and withholding claims. (Tian v. Holder, 3/13/14)
The court denied the petition, finding that the Palestinian petitioner failed to articulate to the BIA his current argument that he is entitled to a determination of his nationality, or lack thereof, as a predicate to a determination of his asylum eligibility. (Agha v. Holder, 2/19/14)
Updated lesson plan on credible fear determinations for the USCIS Asylum Division Officer Training Course.
USCIS memo releasing a revised credible fear lesson plan for its officer training course. The changes are made in light of an increase in credible fear referrals and include increased emphasis on the requirement for individuals to "demonstrate a substantial and realistic possibility of succeeding."
The Ninth Circuit granted the petition for review, finding it was unclear whether the evidence in the record was sufficient to meet the revised social visibility standard in W-G-R and M-E-V-G, and remanded for the BIA to consider the asylum claim in light of these decisions. The court also advised the BIA to consider the petition in light of Henriquez-Rivas, which addressed a comparable social group.
The court held substantial evidence did not support the IJ's adverse credibility finding based on a discrepancy in dates in the evidence, as other evidence corroborated the explanation that one of the documents included an incorrect date due to a typographical error. (Zhi v. Holder, 5/16/14)
The court declined to review the asylum denial, finding that the petitioner failed to establish a viable nexus between the identified persecution and his claimed social group of abandoned Guatemalan children lacking protection from gang violence. (Guerra-Marchorro v. Holder, 7/29/14)
The court granted the petition for review and remanded, finding that even though other members of the petitioner’s family may not have been “uniquely or specially targeted” by the MS-13 gang, this fact did not undermine petitioner’s own fear of persecution. (Aquino v. Holder, 7/18/14)
The court found that substantial evidence supported the BIA's conclusion that the petitioner failed to present adequate evidence linking the harm he suffered from his uncle and the police officer in Mexico to his sexual orientation. (Gutierrez v. Att'y Gen., 8/12/14)
The court remanded, finding the IJ erred when holding that because petitioner's pro-democracy political opinion reflected views he had when he emigrated, the activism did not constitute changed circumstances that excused untimeliness pursuant to INA §208 (a)(2)(D). (Lin v. Holder, 8/19/14)
The court granted the petition as it pertained to feared future persecution, finding that imposition of an extraordinarily severe fine, even without payment, can support an alien's well-founded fear of future economic persecution if returned to his native country. (Chen v. Holder, 12/5/14)
The IJ granted withholding to a single Guatemalan woman and asylum to her two children, after giving de minimus weight to the record of sworn statement completed by CBP, which stated that the respondent was coming to the United States to work and had no fear of return.
The court denied the petition to review the asylum, withholding, and CAT denials, finding that the Somali petitioner's inconsistent testimony and lack of corroborating evidence provided substantial evidence to support the IJ's adverse credibility determination. (Ali v. Holder, 1/8/15)
The IJ granted the asylum application of a Bangladeshi national who was a member of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and who suffered persecution by the current ruling party, the Awami League. The IJ specifically found that the BNP is not a terrorist organization.
The court held that petitioner did not offer evidence that corroborated the key elements of his claim of persecution, and that he failed to meet his burden of establishing that supplemental evidence could not have been obtained prior to his merits hearing. (Darinchuluun v. Lynch, 10/8/15)
The court held that single detention, even one accompanied by beatings, does not necessarily rise to the level of past persecution, and upheld BIA's finding that petitioner's treatment by family planning authorities in China did not qualify as past persecution. (Chen v. Lynch, 2/24/16)
The court granted the petition for review and remanded for further proceedings, holding that the BIA’s adverse credibility finding as to the petitioner, who sought asylum and withholding of removal on the basis of his asserted opposition to China’s coercive population-control policy, was flawed because several of the perceived inconsistencies were illusory, and the actual inconsistencies were either immaterial or trivial. (Yuan v. Lynch, 6/28/16)
The court upheld the denial of the asylum claim of petitioner, who claimed both past persecution and fear of future persecution on account of his anti-gang political opinion and his membership in a particular social group, namely, individuals returning to Guatemala from the United States while leaving behind family members in the United States. (Alvizures-Gomes, 7/21/16)
The court held that although the BIA erred in finding that the petitioner testified inconsistently, the BIA's ultimate ruling was supported by substantial evidence, and the same decision would be made on remand. (Li v. Lynch, 10/5/16)
Unpublished BIA decision holds that “women who cannot leave a relationship” is a cognizable particular social group regardless of whether the applicant was married to her abuser. Special thanks to IRAC. (Matter of H-M-R-M, 3/17/16)
The court affirmed the BIA’s denial of asylum, finding that the petitioner did not present evidence supporting his argument that, as a long‐time resident of the United States, he would be perceived in El Salvador as wealthy and face persecution by gangs if removed. (Rivera v. Lynch, 1/12/17)
CA8 Finds Asylum Applicant Failed to Demonstrate That His Subjective Fear Was Objectively Reasonable.Read more about Lemus-Arita case
Unpublished BIA decision finds respondent qualified for extraordinary circumstances exception due to hearing timing and that the proposed particular social group of "Salvadoran women unable to leave a domestic relationship" is cognizable. Special thanks to IRAC. (Matter of S-V-C-, 11/1/16) Read more
The court held that petitioner, a member of the Democratic Party in Mongolia, failed to establish past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution, and did not show that it was more likely than not that he would be tortured upon return to Mongolia. (Tsegmed v. Sessions, 6/15/17)
The court upheld the BIA’s denial of asylum, holding that the alleged past persecution of petitioner’s mother could not be imputed to the petitioner, a 10-year-old citizen of El Salvador, and that petitioner did not have a well-founded fear of persecution. (Herrera Morales v. Sessions, 6/27/17)
In an unpublished opinion, the court granted the petition for review of the BIA’s order affirming the IJ’s denial of the petitioner’s application for asylum and withholding of removal and remanded the case to the BIA. The court held that the government did not meet its burden to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the Chinese Christian petitioner could relocate within China to avoid persecution. Courtesy of Henry Zhang. (Shi v. Attorney General, 3/15/18)
Although BIA had remanded the case to consider the denial of CAT relief, the court said, IJ did not err in reconsidering its prior adverse credibility determination and granting asylum relief, because the BIA did not expressly retain jurisdiction as required by Matter of Patel, 16 I. & N. Dec. 600 (BIA 1978). The court granted a petition for review and remanded back to the BIA. (Bermudez-Ariza v. Sessions, 6/25/18) Matter of Patel, 16 I. & N. Dec. 600 (BIA 1978), requires the BIA to do two things: (1) expressly retain jurisdiction, and (2) qualify or limit the scope of the remand. If the Board fails to do either of these things, the scope of the remand is general and the IJ may reconsider any of his or her prior decisions.
The court denied petitions for review finding the asylum claims were properly denied and upholding IJ reasoning that “business owners in Ukraine who have been extorted by criminal elements and not protected by the government” amounted “circular” logic of defining group primarily by harm suffered. (Melnik v. Sessions, 5/25/18).
The court found that the petitioner had failed to establish that he more likely than not would be tortured if removed to Guinea due to his sexual orientation and father’s past political affiliation and thus upheld the denial of Convention Against Torture (CAT) relief. (Barry v. Barr, 2/22/19)
The court remanded the case to the BIA for further consideration of the petitioner’s withholding of removal claim, in order to determine whether his fear of future persecution was based on a pattern or practice of the Democratic Republic of the Congo government. (Matumona v. Barr, 12/30/19)
Dismissing in part and denying in part the petition for review, the court found that substantial evidence supported the BIA’s determination that the record did not establish that Guatemalan society recognizes people who report the criminal activity of gangs to police as a distinct social group for purposes of withholding of removal relief. The court also held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider the petitioner’s renewed arguments concerning relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) because that issue exceeded the scope of the court’s prior remand. (Conde Quevedo v. Barr, 1/24/20)
Unpublished BIA decision holds that changed circumstances need not occur before an asylum application is filed to qualify for the exception to the one-year filing deadline. Special thanks to IRAC. (Matter of J-R-F-F-, 7/9/19)
The court granted the petition for review and remanded, holding that the BIA erred in failing to adequately consider the claim of the Salvadoran petitioner that she would be persecuted on account of her political opinion—that is, resistance to the norm of female subordination to male dominance that pervades El Salvador. (Hernandez-Chacon v. Barr, 1/23/20)
The court held that people who publicly provide assistance against major Salvadoran gangs constitute a particular social group and that the BIA erred in applying Myrie v. Attorney General when it denied CAT relief. (Guzman Orellana v. Att’y Gen., 4/17/20
The court found that the BIA’s conclusion that the government showed by a preponderance of the evidence that the Guatemalan petitioner could internally relocate and that it would be reasonable for her to do so was not supported by substantial evidence. (Juan Antonio v. Barr, 5/19/20)
Granting the petition for review of the BIA’s denial of withholding of removal, the court found that the IJ and BIA erred in failing to give the petitioner an opportunity to explain why he could not reasonably obtain certain corroborative evidence. (Guzman-Vazquez v. Barr, 5/18/20)
Denying the petition for review, the court held that the BIA had properly concluded that the petitioner’s proposed particular social group (PSG) of wealthy landowners in Colombia was not cognizable, because it lacked particularity and social distinction. (Cordoba v. Barr, 6/16/20)
Where neither the IJ nor the BIA had considered the petitioner’s repeated statements that the money being extorted by a gang in El Salvador was from her parents and that her persecutors had contacted her in order to communicate their threats to her parents, the court held that the agency had failed to adequately address unrebutted evidence in the record that compelled the conclusion that the petitioner’s membership in her family was at least one central reason for her persecution. (Hernandez-Cartagena v. Barr, 10/14/20)
The court held that the BIA failed to give reasoned consideration to the Sri Lankan petitioner’s claim that, as a Tamil failed asylum seeker, he had a well-founded fear of future persecution, and thus remanded his asylum and withholding of removal claims. (Jathursan v. Att’y Gen., 11/17/21)
The court upheld the BIA’s denial of asylum, finding that the Board did not err in holding that governmental changes in the Congo—namely, that the petitioner’s own political party had assumed power—made any future political persecution unlikely. (Mbonga v. Garland, 11/22/21)
The court concluded that substantial evidence supported the IJ’s and BIA’s adverse credibility determination as to the petitioner, finding that his failure to disclose until cross-examination his alleged inclusion on a government blacklist in China undermined his credibility. The court explained that while factual omissions are generally less probative of credibility than inconsistencies created by direct contradictions in evidence and testimony, this omission was particularly concerning because it involved facts that were central to the petitioner’s asylum claim.(Liang v. Garland, 8/19/21)
The court held that the record supported the IJ’s and BIA’s conclusion that the petitioner, a Chinese citizen who practiced Christianity, did not meet her burden of establishing her eligibility for asylum given the discrepancies in her testimony and the lack of corroborative evidence. The court rejected the petitioner’s argument that the discrepancies were reconcilable or so trivial that they could not support the adverse credibility determination. (Dai v. Garland, 1/24/22)
The court upheld the BIA’s denial of the untimely motion to reopen, rejecting the petitioner’s claims that the BIA had misapplied Singh v. Lynch and that conditions in El Salvador had materially worsened since the issuance of her removal order. (Martinez-Guevara v. Garland, 3/3/22)
Denying the petition for review, the court found that substantial evidence supported the BIA’s conclusion that the petitioner’s family relationship to her sister was not a central reason for her persecution by her sister’s abusive ex-husband. (Toledo-Vasquez v. Garland, 3/2/22)
The court held that the BIA did not err in declining to address the IJ’s adverse credibility finding as to the Somalian petitioner, because the BIA correctly determined that the IJ’s decision included an alternative determination that the petitioner’s claims for Convention Against Torture (CAT) relief would fail even if his testimony were believed. Accordingly, the court rejected the petitioner’s argument that the credibility finding was central to the IJ’s decision. The court further found that the BIA’s decision adequately addressed the petitioner’s arguments and provided enough reasoning to permit meaningful judicial review, and thus denied the petition for review. (Jama v. Garland, 3/30/22)
Granting the petition for review, the court held that the BIA erred in rejecting the petitioner’s asylum claim based on a fear of future persecution, concluding that any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to find a pattern or practice of persecution against transgender women in Honduras. The court remanded for the court to reconsider the petitioner’s applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and deferral of removal. (Gonzalez Aguilar v. Garland, 3/29/22)