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BIA Says Noncitizens Who Assist in Persecution Need Not Have a Persecutory Motive to Be Subject to the Persecutor Bar

In a precedent decision issued today, the BIA held that the persecutor bar in INA §241(b)(3)(B)(i) applies to a noncitizen who assists or otherwise participates in the persecution of an individual because of that person’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, without regard to the noncitizen’s personal motivation for assisting or participating in the persecution. The court found that the persecutor bar applied to the Salvadoran respondent because, regardless of his own motives, he assisted in the persecution of an individual because of the individual’s political opinion. Accordingly, the court concluded that the respondent failed to establish that he was eligible for special rule cancellation of removal under NACARA.

8th Circuit rules against asylee

The Eighth Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that the Guatemalan petitioner had not demonstrated that the record compelled the finding that his subjective fear of persecution was objectively reasonable. The court thus found that substantial evidence supported the IJ’s and BIA’s determination that he failed to establish eligibility for asylum.

Court Reverses Denial of Asylum to Homosexual Petitioner from Mexico

The en banc Ninth Circuit reversed the BIA’s denial of asylum to a homosexual citizen of Mexico, finding that the petitioner had shown that Mexican officials were unable or unwilling to protect him from harm by private individuals due to his sexual orientation, and thus that he had established past persecution. The court also concluded that the petitioner was entitled to a presumption of future persecution, and remanded for the BIA to consider whether that presumption was rebutted, and also to consider the petitioner’s claims for withholding of removal and CAT protection, taking into account new evidence of the petitioner’s HIV diagnosis.

Court Defers to BIA’s Decision in Matter of F-P-R- to Calculate Asylum Applicant’s “Last Arrival” into the United States

The Second Circuit deferred to the BIA’s decision in Matter of F-P-R- to hold that the petitioner’s rebuffed effort to enter Canada from the United States after being illegally present in the United States following multiple deportations counted as his “last arrival” into the United States, thus giving him an additional one year from that date to file an asylum application. Accordingly, the court granted the petition for review in part and remanded in part for the BIA to determine whether the petitioner’s asylum application was timely.

Court Reverses Finding That Petitioner’s Asylum Application Was Frivolous

The Seventh Circuit concluded that substantial evidence did not support a finding that the petitioner deliberately fabricated material elements of his asylum application, because the IJ “seemed to base his frivolousness finding on a lack of credible evidence rather than any evidence that [the petitioner] had made deliberate falsehoods.”

Don’t commit fraud with Asylum

(1) An untimely application for asylum may be found frivolous under section 208(d)(6) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1158(d)(6) (2012). Luciana v. Att’y Gen. of U.S., 502 F.3d 273 (3d Cir. 2007), distinguished. Matter of X-M-C-, 25 I&N Dec. 322 (BIA 2010), followed.
(2) The respondent’s asylum application is frivolous because he deliberately made a false statement postdating by more than 2 years his date of entry into this country, which is a material element in determining his eligibility to seek asylum given the general requirement to file the application within 1 year of the date of arrival in the United States.

Court Upholds Asylum Denial Where Chinese Petitioner Claimed to Fear Persecution Based on Religion

The Sixth Circuit found that the IJ’s adverse credibility determination was supported by substantial evidence, and that the petitioner, who claimed that her Christian beliefs would subject her to persecution if she was removed to China, had not presented evidence or any argument that would compel a reasonable adjudicator to disagree with the IJ’s finding. The court also rejected her due process claims, noting that because none of the alleged violations affected the outcome of her asylum claim, she did not suffer any prejudice.

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