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Court Reverses BIA’s Determination on Nexus Requirement for Asylum and Withholding of Removal

The Fourth Circuit vacated the denial of the petitioner’s asylum and withholding of removal claims, reversed the BIA’s determination that the petitioner had failed to establish the required nexus between her persecution and her proposed protected statuses—that is, her membership in the particular social group of unmarried mothers living under the control of gangs in Honduras and her imputed political opinion—and remanded.

Court Rejects Gang Murder Witness’ Purported Social Group

Denying the petition to review the BIA’s reversal of the immigration judge’s grant of withholding of removal, the Eighth Circuit upheld the BIA’s finding that “former taxi drivers from Quezaltepeque who have witnessed a gang murder” was not socially distinct and thus could not qualify as a “particular social group.”

Court Denies Petition for Review of Eligibility of Follower of Santa Muerte for Withholding and CAT Protection

In Garcia-Moctezuma v. Sessions, the Eighth Circuit denied the petition for review of the denial of withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture, holding that substantial evidence supported the finding that the petitioner, a follower of the deity Santa Muerte, failed to establish either a sufficient nexus between his faith and his mistreatment in Mexico or a likelihood of torture if removed to Mexico.

Release on Bond for Reinstated Removal Order

The Second Circuit affirmed the district court, finding that a reinstated removal order is not final during the pendency of withholding-only proceedings, and thus, the detention of individuals with reinstated orders of removal and in withholding-only proceedings is governed by INA §236(a), which permits release on bond.

Mexican who was tortured gets 2nd chance

The Seventh Circuit granted the petition for review and remanded to the Board of Immigration Appeal (BIA), finding that the Immigration Judge and the BIA erred in holding that the Mexican petitioner, who had been tortured by Mexican police at the behest of the Zetas drug cartel because of an unpaid drug debt and had informed against the cartel to the FBI and the DEA, was not entitled to deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).

Rich Mexican Citizen denied Withholding

The Sixth Circuit denied the petition for review of the application for withholding of removal, holding that the Mexican petitioner’s proposed social group—”persons who are perceived to have money or access to money due to having spent a significant amount of time in and having familial ties to the United States”—was not cognizable under the INA.

Drug Trafficking found to be particularly serious crime

  1. The Fourth Circuit upheld the BIA and the IJ’s determination that the petitioner’s aggravated felony conviction for a drug trafficking crime, for which the petitioner received a sentence of five years’ imprisonment, was per se a particularly serious crime under INA §241(b)(3)(B). The court thus found that the petitioner was ineligible for withholding of removal.

I think I’m going to be killed if I go back to my home country. What can I do?

BIA Finds Possession of Child Pornography is Particularly Serious Crime

The Board found that the respondent’s conviction for possession of child pornography was a particularly serious crime based on the nature and specific facts of the offense, making him ineligible for withholding of removal.

To rebut past persecution for withholding of removal

Whether a fundamental change has occurred to rebut past persecution for withholding of removal is a fact-specific inquiry, tailored to the petitioner’s claim. It is insufficient to rely on information about general country changes. (Imelda v. U.S. Att’y Gen., 7/12/10).

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