Immigration Law

Unpub. BIA Remand: Honduras, Political Opinion; Equality for Women

Prof. Geoffrey Hoffman, Director, UHLC Immigration Clinic, writes:

"I wanted to share a decision granting a remand from the BIA in a Matter of A-B- type case from my friends and colleagues at The Modi Law Firm!!!

Great job.
 
The decision is significant because the IJ held that the respondent’s feminist beliefs and actions did not constitute political opinion. The IJ also rejected respondent’s proposed PSGs based on the belief that they lacked social distinction and identification. The IJ cited Matter of A-B- and held that the Court was bound by that decision as controlling precedent. While the Court found that the conduct the respondent was subjected to was tantamount to persecution, it held that there was no nexus between the persecution and membership in a particular social group.

The BIA held that the Immigration Judge did not “sufficiently explain why the Respondent’s belief in women’s equality, as expressed to her former partner, does not constitute a political opinion.” The BIA also found that the IJ’s “decision does not adequately explain why the particular social groups proposed by the respondent are insufficient to be viewed as legally cognizable for purposes of the Act, or why there is no nexus between any past persecution suffered or future persecution feared.” Despite the IJ’s reliance on Matter of A-B-, the BIA decision noted the need for an individualized analysis of the respondent’s claims under Matter of A-B-.

Hats off to attorneys Patrick Pettibon and Susham Modi at The Modi Law Firm, PLLC. They should be contacted at smodi@modilaw.com for more info or to provide a redacted copy of the brief to interested attorneys with similar cases."