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CA1 on CAT, Standard of Review: Murillo Morocho v. Garland

August 23, 2023 (1 min read)

Murillo Morocho v. Garland

"Petitioner Darwin Murillo Morocho seeks review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals ("BIA") affirming the denial of his application for deferral of removal to Ecuador under the Convention Against Torture ("CAT"). Murillo Morocho claims that, if returned to Ecuador, it is more likely than not that he would be tortured by the Ecuadorian government itself or by private actors acting with the consent or acquiescence of public officials. Before this court, he argues that the BIA applied the wrong standard of review to the Immigration Judge's ("IJ's") legal conclusions. He further claims that both the BIA and the IJ applied the incorrect legal standard in assessing whether the Ecuadorian government would more likely than not consent or acquiesce in his torture. Finally, he argues that even if the BIA and IJ applied the proper legal standards, the BIA's decision, which adopts the IJ's decision, is not supported by substantial evidence and that the IJ erred in not giving him the opportunity to further corroborate his testimony. We agree that the agency1 applied the incorrect legal standard to the "consent or acquiescence" prong of Murillo Morocho's CAT claim. We therefore grant his petition for review in part, vacate the order of the BIA denying Murillo Morocho CAT relief as to Ecuador, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

[Hats off to Tasha J. Bahal!]