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CA3 on Asylum, Ghana: Sumaila v. Barr

March 31, 2020 (1 min read)

Sumaila v. Barr

"Adamu Sumaila fled his home country of Ghana and entered the United States without authorization after his father and neighbors assaulted him and threatened his life when they  discovered that he was in a same-sex relationship. Sumaila seeks asylum and withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and protection from removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), because he fears being persecuted or tortured on account of his sexual orientation and identity as a gay man if returned to Ghana – a country that criminalizes same-sex male relationships and has no proven track record of combating widespread anti-gay violence, harassment and discrimination. The Immigration Judge (IJ) denied Sumaila’s application and ordered his removal, and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed. ... Because Sumaila suffered past persecution and has a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of his sexual orientation and identity as a gay man, he qualifies as a refugee under the INA. Therefore, we will vacate the BIA’s decision and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

[Hats off to "the instructors and students from the Immigration Law Clinic at West Virginia University College of Law for their skillful pro bono representation of the petitioner in this appeal."]