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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.

Transgender granted CATS

The Ninth Circuit granted in part the petition for review, holding that the Board of Immigration Appeals erred when it denied the petitioner, a transgender woman from Mexico, relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), because it failed to recognize the difference between gender identity and sexual orientation, and assumed that recent anti-discrimination laws in Mexico have made life safer for transgender individuals, while ignoring significant evidence of violence targeting them. The court remanded for a grant of CAT relief in light of the petitioner’s evidence of past torture and country conditions, which showed a clear probability of future torture with government acquiescence.

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