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Immigration Law

Rare CA5 Credibility Victory: Ndudzi v. Garland

Ndudzi v. Garland

"Mariana Ndudzi, a native and citizen of Angola, petitions for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decision denying her appeal of an immigration judge’s (IJ) denial of her application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). She argues that the Agency erred in finding her not credible and failed to review her corroborating evidence. We vacate and remand. ... The main issue in this appeal is whether the BIA erred in upholding the IJ’s adverse credibility finding. That decision is largely based on perceived contradictions between Ndudzi’s alleged statements in her CFI and her sworn testimony in her removal hearing. Ndudzi makes two arguments against the adverse credibility finding. ... [N]one of the inconsistencies the Agency relied on are in fact inconsistent. ... In sum, the BIA and IJ’s adverse credibility determination rests largely on “inconsistencies” in the record that are not actually inconsistent. ... In summary, the BIA and IJ relied heavily on an unsupported conclusion that Ndudzi is not a credible witness. At the same time, there appears to be little dispute that, if Ndudzi’s claims are true, she would be entitled to asylum under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(A). Because the adverse credibility finding is not supported by specific and cogent reasons derived from the record, we GRANT the petition for review, VACATE the decisions of the BIA and IJ denying Ndudzi’s application for asylum and CAT relief, and REMAND for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

[Hats off to Brian Casey, Lisa Koop and Chuck Roth!]