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Senate and House Democrats Request Investigation of Illegal Hiring Allegations at DOJ

Top Senate and House Democrats sent a letter to DOJ’s Inspector General, requesting an investigation into allegations that DOJ has targeted candidates and delayed job offers for immigration judge (IJ) and BIA positions based on the candidates’ perceived political or ideological views. 

Immigration Judges hard at work

A recent Transactional Records Access Clearing House (TRAC) report found that Immigration Judges completed 198,105 cases during FY2015, up 7.3% from 184,597 in FY2014. The data indicated that this marks the first time in six years that immigration court case closings have risen rather than fallen, halting a downward slide that had been observed since FY2009.

Get Representation in Asylum Hearings as Court just ruled against Applicant

The Ninth Circuit held that the REAL ID Act permits the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and Immigration Judges (IJs) to base their adverse credibility determinations exclusively on background evidence in the record, upon consideration of the totality of the circumstances and all relevant factors. As such, the court upheld the BIA’s denial of the petitioner’s asylum claims, finding that the BIA and the IJ’s adverse credibility determination, which was based solely on a report from Amnesty International, was supported by substantial evidence.

Be careful with your statements in different proceedings

In a precedent decision issued, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) held that, in making an adverse credibility determination, an Immigration Judge (IJ) can consider significant similarities between statements submitted by different applicants in different proceedings, as long as the IJ gives the applicant meaningful notice of the similarities and a reasonable opportunity to explain them prior to making a credibility determination that is based on the totality of the circumstances.

BIA Issues good case

Matter of D-M-C-P, 26 I&N Dec. 644 (BIA 2015)

(1) Neither an Immigration Judge nor the Board of Immigration Appeals has jurisdiction to consider whether asylum-only proceedings were improvidently instituted pursuant to a referral under the Visa Waiver Program.

(2) It is improper to deem an application for relief abandoned based on the applicant’s failure to comply with the biometrics filing requirement where the record does not reflect that the applicant received notification advisories concerning that requirement, was given a deadline for submitting the biometrics, and was advised of the consequences of his or her failure to comply.

Seems the Immigration Judge might have been predisposed to rule against applicant

The First Circuit vacated the Board of Immigration Appeals’ order denying the petitioner’s asylum claim and remanded for reconsideration of the credibility determination, finding that purported omissions and discrepancies upon which the Immigration Judge based an adverse credibility determination were consistently present in the record.

Petitioner’s Ignorance of Christian Doctrine

The court reversed the adverse credibility finding as improperly based on the IJ’s perception of Petitioner’s ignorance of Christian doctrine, misstatements that did not go to the heart of the claim, and insufficient evidence of evasiveness. (Li v. Holder, 1/19/11)

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