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Immigration Law

Unpub. CA3 Asylum Remand: Bimpong v. Garland (BIA conclusion "defies the record")

Bimpong* v. Garland

"Bimpong argues that the BIA erred in concluding that he failed to establish that his membership in a particular social group (“PSG”) is a nexus for the persecution he fears— as is required to qualify for asylum or withholding of removal. ... The IJ credited Bimpong’s testimony, and the BIA did not disturb this finding. Yet the BIA concluded that Bimpong’s persecution was a personal land dispute that lacked any nexus to his membership in the Ashanti tribe. In doing so, the BIA deferred to the IJ’s conclusion that “the record is devoid of any evidence indicating that the [Enzema] Tribe targeted the applicant because of membership in the Ashanti Tribe.” AR 97 (emphasis added). That conclusion defies the record, which is replete with evidence that Bimpong’s tribal affiliation was a central reason for his persecution. ... In sum, the agency’s conclusion that the record was devoid of any evidence that Bimpong’s membership in the Ashanti tribe was a nexus for his persecution was not supported by substantial evidence. For the foregoing reasons, we will grant the petition, vacate the BIA’s decision, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

* Although Petitioner was originally placed in exclusion proceedings under the name “Jessie Ocee” (Agency Case No. 074-234-588), he later verified that his name is Frank Owusu Bimpong." 

fn2 - "We express our gratitude to Whitney D. Hermandorfer and Mary E. Goetz of Williams & Connolly LLP for accepting this matter pro bono, and we commend the quality of their briefing and argument in this case. Lawyers who act pro bono fulfill the highest service that members of the bar can offer to indigent parties and the legal profession."

[Listen to the oral argument here.]