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Immigration Law

BIA: Forced Labor in 1990 Triggers 'Material Support' Bar - Matter of A-C-M-, 27 I&N Dec. 303 (BIA 2018)

Matter of A-C-M-, 27 I&N Dec. 303 (BIA 2018)

(1) An alien provides “material support” to a terrorist organization if the act has a logical and reasonably foreseeable tendency to promote, sustain, or maintain the organization, even if only to a de minimis degree.
(2) The respondent afforded material support to the guerillas in El Salvador in 1990 because the forced labor she provided in the form of cooking, cleaning, and washing their clothes aided them in continuing their mission of armed and violent opposition to the Salvadoran Government.

CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION: Linda S. Wendtland,Board Member - "I concur with the majority to the extent that it holds that the record should be remanded for further proceedings and the entry of a new decision with regard to the respondent’s eligibility for protection under the Convention Against Torture. However, I respectfully dissent from the majority’s conclusion that the respondent is subject to the bar to asylum and withholding of removal for applicants who have provided “material support” to a terrorist organization, and I would sustain the respondent’s cross-appeal in that regard. ... The primary question presented by this case is whether the respondent’s activities are of the kind and magnitude that would meet the threshold requirement of “material.” I would conclude that they are not. ... I cannot conclude that the menial and incidental tasks that the respondent performed — as a slave — for Salvadoran guerrillas, including cooking, cleaning, and washing clothes, are of “the same class” as the enumerated forms of assistance set forth in the statute. ... The majority’s apparent interpretation of “material,” as referencing anything and everything that “another person would have needed to do” if the respondent had not done it, is without effective limits and would lead to absurd results."