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Immigration Law

CA9 on CAT: Velasquez-Samayoa v. Garland

Velasquez-Samayoa v. Garland

"Miguel Angel Velasquez-Samayoa seeks protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). Velasquez-Samayoa asserts that, if he were removed to his native country of El Salvador, he would be identified as a gang member and therefore would face a significant risk of being killed or tortured—either by Salvadoran officials or by members of a rival gang with the acquiescence of the Salvadoran government. The Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) upheld a decision by an Immigration Judge (“IJ” and, collectively with the BIA, the “Agency”) concluding that neither potential source of torture poses a sufficient risk to entitle Velasquez-Samayoa to CAT relief. Velasquez-Samayoa argues before our court that the Agency failed to assess the aggregate risk that he will be tortured— considering all sources together. We agree. We grant the petition for review and remand to the Agency to reconsider Velasquez-Samayoa’s CAT claim, applying the correct legal standards."

Note Dkt. No. 48: "The motion for a stay of removal (Dkt. Nos. [1] & [6]) is GRANTED. Velasquez-Samayoa’s removal is stayed pending a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals and/or Immigration Judge."

[Hats off to Jean Reisz (argued) and Niels Frenzen, University of Southern California, Gould School of Law, Immigration Clinic!]