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Immigration Law

A.G. on Torture: Matter of R-A-F-, 27 I&N Dec. 778

Matter of R-A-F-, 27 I&N Dec. 778 (A.G. 2020)

(1) The Board of Immigration Appeals should consider de novo the application of law to the facts of this case, including whether the deprivations that the respondent would be likely to encounter upon removal to Mexico would constitute “torture” within the meaning of the Department of Justice regulations implementing the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Dec. 10, 1984, S. Treaty Doc. No. 100-20, 1465 U.N.T.S. 85 (entered into force for United States Nov. 20, 1994).

(2) To constitute “torture” under these regulations, an act must, among other things, “be specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering.” 8 C.F.R. § 1208.18(a)(5). “‘[T]orture’ does not cover ‘negligent acts’ or harm stemming from a lack of resources.” Matter of J-R-G-P-, 27 I&N Dec. 482, 484 (BIA 2018) (citing Matter of J-E-, 23 I&N Dec. 291, 299, 301 (BIA 2002)).

(3) To constitute “torture,” an act must also be motivated by “such purposes as obtaining from him or her or a third person information or a confession, punishing him or her for an act he or she or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or her or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind.” 8 C.F.R. § 1208.18(a)(1).