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CA1 on Family PSG: Enamorado-Rodriguez v. Barr

October 31, 2019 (1 min read)

Enamorado-Rodriguez v. Barr

"Darlin Eleazar EnamoradoRodriguez ("Enamorado"), a Honduran national, came to the United States at age fifteen and sought asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture ("CAT"). He asserted he had experienced past persecution on account of a protected ground, his membership in his mother's nuclear family, and would face future persecution. Although the Immigration Judge ("IJ") found that Enamorado's testimony was credible, and that the abuse Enamorado suffered had indeed amounted to persecution, the IJ denied asylum relief. He held that Enamorado had not met his burden to show the required nexus. The BIA affirmed, saying in part that Enamorado had failed to submit corroborative evidence. We vacate the BIA's decision denying asylum and withholding of removal as to Enamorado's family membership persecution claim for relief, deny the relief Enamorado sought on alternate particular social group ("PSG") theories and for CAT relief, and remand the matter for proceedings on Enamorado's family membership persecution claim, consistent with this opinion. ... LIPEZ, Circuit Judge, concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. Although there is much to admire in the majority opinion, I disagree that the agency decisionmakers committed legal error by failing to apply the mixed-motive standard. The IJ's and BIA's analyses show that they used the correct standard. The error lies elsewhere -- reaching a conclusion on the nexus element that is not supported by the evidence.3 This record compels a finding that at least one central reason for Enamorado's persecution was membership in his mother's family. Hence, I would hold that Enamorado has established that he was persecuted on the basis of a protected ground. In my view, the proceedings on remand should first focus on whether the government is unwilling or unable to protect Enamorado from such persecution."

[Hats off to Joshua D. Asher, Megan McEntee and David C. Soutter!]