Immigration Law

CA7 on Asylum, Credibility...and Chenery: Jimenez Ferreira v. Lynch - Published! (Aug. 5, 2016)

Jimenez Ferreira v. Lynch, Aug. 5, 2016- "We conclude that the agency erred by (1) failing to address Jimenez’s argument that the notes from the credible‐fear interview are unreliable and therefore an improper basis for an adverse credibility finding and (2) ignoring material documentary evidence that corroborates Jimenez’s testimony. Accordingly, we grant Jimenez’s petition for review and remand for further proceedings. ... The government’s attorney conceded at oral argument that the IJ and the Board did not mention the medical report but maintained that the agency’s silence is of no moment because the rape is “not sufficient to establish her eligibility for asylum as a woman who is in a relationship she cannot leave.” This argument runs afoul of the Chenery doctrine, as the government again seeks to defend the agency’s decision on a ground not articulated by the agency itself. Notwithstanding the Chenery violation, the government’s argument is nonsensical. There is no legal support for the government’s belief that the Board must consider only evidence that, standing alone, establishes an alien’s eligibility for relief from removal. ... Because the agency erred both by failing to adequately address Jimenez’s argument that the notes from the credible‐fear interview are unreliable and by ignoring material evidence that supports her claims for asylum and withholding of removal, we GRANT the petition for review and REMAND the case to the Board for further proceedings."  [Hats way off to Pete Korzynski and Lisa Koop! ]