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CA9 on CAT, Mexico, Zetas, LGBTQ: Xochihua-Jaimes v. Barr

June 26, 2020 (1 min read)

Xochihua-Jaimes v. Barr

"Substantial evidence does not support the BIA’s determination that Petitioner failed to meet her burden of proof under CAT that she would more likely than not be tortured, with the consent or acquiescence of a public official, if returned to Mexico. The BIA reached its determination by misapplying our precedents regarding acquiescence of a public official and regarding the possibility of safe relocation, as well as by making or affirming factual findings that are directly contradicted by the record. Contrary to the BIA’s determination, we hold that the existing record compels the conclusion that Petitioner has met her burden under CAT. ... the record also includes extensive evidence that LGBTQ individuals are subject to a heightened risk of torture throughout Mexico. Considering all relevant evidence, we conclude that the record compels the conclusion that petitioner has met her burden of proof to establish that it is more likely than not that she will suffer future torture if removed to her native country. ... We grant the petition and remand for the agency to grant deferral of removal pursuant to CAT because the record compels the conclusion that Petitioner will more likely than not be tortured if she is removed to Mexico."

[Hats way off to appointed pro bono counsel Max Carter-Oberstone (argued) and Brian Goldman!]