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Camiel Becker writes: "I am writing to share a recent BIA win by Becker & Lee LLP attorney Melissa Phatharanavik. The case involves a Guatemalan man who was granted withholding of removal due to police corruption in Guatemala. An Immigration Judge in San Francisco granted withholding but denied asylum because the judge erroneously found that the respondent had failed to establish changed circumstances warranting an exception to the one-year filing deadline. On appeal, the Board of Immigration Appeals found that country condition evidence submitted in support of the asylum application - specifically proof that there was a 20% increase in the homicide rate and a purge of 200 police officers in 2013 - "reflects a material change in country conditions in Guatemala that would increase the risk of harm to the respondent." Expert witness testimony in this case was key to the BIA victory."
- Melissa Phatharanavik