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Mother Jones: “In Any Other Judicial System, the Government Cannot Just Take Away Your Kid”

Mother Jones reports on ICE’s use of family separation outside of the context of the “zero-tolerance” border policy, sharing the story of a woman who was detained with her 2-year-old daughter after they fled Honduras. The mother passed her credible fear interview, and then her daughter was separated from her because the mother was found to be a safety risk to her child, presumably based on information she provided during her interview

Court Denies Asylum for Failure to Meet Nexus, “Particularity” Prong

The First Circuit upheld BIA denials that the petitioner was targeted based on her family relationship and that “single mothers with no male protection who are unable to relocate in El Salvador” are a particular social group. The court also denied the CAT claim, affirming that the petitioner presented no evidence that a Salvadoran official would acquiesce to the petitioner’s torture by gang members.

Court Rules that M‑E‑V‑G‑’s “Particular Social Group” Test Is Entitled to Chevron Deference

The Third Circuit denied the petition for review and accepted the immigration judge and BIA’s determination that “immediate family members of Honduran women unable to leave a domestic relationship” is not a legally cognizable particular social group.

Trump May Slash Number of Refugees U.S. Accepts by 40 Percent

the White House is considering a second major reduction in the number of refugees accepted for resettlement in the United States. Last year, the Trump administration set the cap for refugee admissions at a historic low of 45,000. President Trump must officially set the cap by the start of FY2019, which begins on October 1, 2018

Court Rejects Gang Murder Witness’ Purported Social Group

Denying the petition to review the BIA’s reversal of the immigration judge’s grant of withholding of removal, the Eighth Circuit upheld the BIA’s finding that “former taxi drivers from Quezaltepeque who have witnessed a gang murder” was not socially distinct and thus could not qualify as a “particular social group.”

Court Rules that BIA Erred in Failing to Analyze Past Persecution Under Childhood Standard

The First Circuit vacated the BIA’s order dismissing the petitioner’s appeal and remanded, finding that because the Ecuadorian asylum applicant was a minor at time of mistreatment, the immigration judge and BIA should have taken a child-specific analysis.

Helping Persecutors

New case showing that helping under duress is a defense (1) An applicant who is subject to being barred from establishing eligibility for asylum or withholding of removal based on the persecution of others may claim a duress defense, which is limited in nature. (2) To meet the minimum threshold requirements of the duress defense to the persecutor bar, an applicant must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that (1) he acted under an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to himself or others; (2) he reasonably believed that the threatened harm would be carried out unless he acted or refrained from acting; (3) he had no reasonable opportunity to escape or otherwise frustrate the threat; (4) he did not place himself in a situation in which he knew or reasonably should have known that he would likely be forced to act or refrain from acting; and (5) he knew or reasonably should have known that the harm he inflicted was not greater than the threatened harm to himself or others.

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