Immigration Law

A.G. Barr on 'Particular Social Group' - Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 581 (A.G. 2019)

Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 581 (A.G. 2019)

(1) In Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 40 (BIA 2017), the Board of Immigration
Appeals improperly recognized the respondent’s father’s immediate family as a
“particular social group” for purposes of qualifying for asylum under the
Immigration and Nationality Act.

(2) All asylum applicants seeking to establish membership in a “particular social
group,” including groups defined by family or kinship ties, must establish that
the group is (1) composed of members who share a common immutable
characteristic; (2) defined with particularity; and (3) socially distinct within the
society in question.

(3) While the Board has recognized certain clans and subclans as “particular social
groups,” most nuclear families are not inherently socially distinct and therefore
do not qualify as “particular social groups.”

(4) The portion of the Board’s decision recognizing the respondent’s proposed
particular social group is overruled. See Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. at 42– 43 (Part II.A). The rest of the Board’s decision, including its analysis of the
required nexus between alleged persecution and the alleged protected ground, is
affirmed. See id. at 43–47 (Part II.B).