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CA1 on Changed Country Conditions (Guatemala) - Mendez Esteban v. Garland

May 11, 2023 (1 min read)

Mendez Esteban v. Garland

"[T]he 2017 report and the testimony from Mendez do not -- together or independently -- establish that changes in Guatemala have fundamentally altered the specific conditions that gave rise to Mendez's substantiated claim of political persecution. Accordingly, the BIA's conclusion that DHS rebutted Mendez's presumption of well-founded fear is not supported by substantial evidence. We therefore find Mendez statutorily eligible for asylum. ... [W]e grant the petition for review as to Mendez's claims for asylum and withholding of removal. We deny the petition as to Mendez's claim for CAT protection. We accordingly affirm the denial of Mendez's CAT claim, vacate the denials of Mendez's political opinion-based asylum and withholding of removal claims, and remand to the IJ for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

[Hats off to Samuel Brenner, Emma Coreno, Patrick Roath and Rachel Scholz-Bright!]