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Immigration Law

CA6 Dumps Matter of A-B-: Juan Antonio v. Barr

Juan Antonio v. Barr

"Maria Magdalena Juan Antonio, a native and citizen of Guatemala, appeals from the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (the “Board”) denial of her application for asylum and withholding of removal. In its denial, the Board found that Maria articulated a cognizable particular social group and that the harm she suffered rose to the level of past persecution. It then concluded, however, that the government effectively rebutted her well-founded fear of future persecution by showing changed circumstances: that she was no longer part of her articulated social group and that she could reasonably relocate within Guatemala. On appeal, Maria argues that the Board’s conclusion was not supported by substantial evidence on the record as a whole. We agree with Maria. Therefore, we grant the petition for review, vacate the Board’s decision, and remand for reconsideration consistent with this opinion. ... Matter of A-B- has since been abrogated. See Grace v. Whitaker, 344 F. Supp. 3d 96 (D.D.C. 2018). Grace found that the policies articulated in Matter of A-B- were arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law. See id. at 126–27 (holding that there is no general rule against claims involving domestic violence as a basis for membership in a particular social group and that each claim must be evaluated on an individual basis under the statutory factors). The district court’s decision in Grace is currently on appeal to the D.C. Circuit. We acknowledge that we are not bound by Grace but find its reasoning persuasive. Because Matter of A-B- has been abrogated, Matter of A-R-C-G- likely retains precedential value. But, on remand, the agency should also evaluate what effect, if any, Matter of A-R-C-G- and Grace have had on the particular social group analysis."

[Hats way off to Margaret W. Wong!]