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Mentally incompetent in Immigration Court?

In a precedent decision issued today, the BIA found that neither the government nor the respondent bears a formal burden of proof in immigration proceedings to establish whether or not the respondent is mentally competent, but where indicia of incompetency are identified, the Immigration Judge (IJ) should determine if a preponderance of the evidence establishes that the respondent is competent. Further, the BIA held that an IJ’s finding of competency is a finding of fact that the BIA can review to determine if it is clearly erroneous.

Immigration Judge harassed you?

  1. In a published decision the BIA remanded the record to the immigration court for a new hearing before a different Immigration Judge (IJ), finding that conduct by an IJ that can be perceived as bullying or hostile is never appropriate, particularly in cases involving minor respondents, and may result in remand to a different IJ. The BIA also held that the requirements of the Federal Rules of Evidence with respect to the admission of expert testimony are inapposite to a respondent’s testimony regarding events of which he or she has personal knowledge.
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