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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.

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