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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.

BIA Finds Respondent Subject to “Material Support” Bar Because of Cooking and Cleaning She Performed Under Threat of Death

In a decision published recently, the BIA remanded the record to the immigration judge for entry of a new decision after finding that the respondent afforded material support to the guerillas in El Salvador in 1990 because the forced labor she provided in the form of cooking, cleaning, and washing their clothes aided them in continuing their mission of armed and violent opposition to the Salvadoran government.12:54 AM

Court Holds IJs Gave Undue Weight to Asylum Seekers’ Omission of Facts

The Second Circuit granted the petitions for review after finding that immigration judges and the BIA erred by substantially relying on the fact that applicants for asylum and related relief testified during removal proceedings to certain details not included in their initial applications.12:37 AM

Court Finds BIA Erred in Requiring Asylum Petitioner to Prove Past Persecution and in Recharacterizing Her Social Group

The Fifth Circuit held that the BIA erred both in requiring the asylum petitioner to prove past persecution to establish a claim based on a well-founded fear of future persecution and in recharacterizing the petitioner’s claimed social group.

Court Holds Individuals Subject to Reinstatement of Removal May Not Apply for Asylum, Even If Changed Circumstances Exist

The Fourth Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that an individual subject to a reinstated order of removal may not apply for asylum, even when the factual basis for the asylum claim did not exist prior to the original removal.1:22 AM

Court Upholds Denial of Asylum to Petitioner Who Supported Gay Rights in Cameroon

The Eleventh Circuit denied the petition for review, holding that substantial evidence supported the BIA’s findings that the petitioner, who sought asylum based on claimed persecution due to his support of gay rights in Cameroon, did not experience past persecution and did not have a well-founded fear of future persecution.
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