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CA9 on Credibility, Frivolousness: Udo v. Garland

May 05, 2022 (1 min read)

Udo v. Garland

"Peter Donatus Udo is a citizen of Nigeria who applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”) in the United States on the grounds that he feared violence in Nigeria as a gay man. Specifically, the Council of Traditional Rulers of Udo’s community in Nigeria decreed that he was subject to “public execution” because he was found “practicing homosexuality.” Although the immigration judge (“IJ”) and the Board of Immigration Appeals (the “BIA” or the “Board”) denied relief on the grounds that Udo was not credible, the BIA failed to give reasoned consideration to key evidence that was independent of Udo’s testimony, namely the Council’s decree and a collection of letters and affidavits supplied by Udo’s family members. The BIA also erred in deeming Udo’s asylum application frivolous because any fabrication was not of a material element of Udo’s asylum claim. ... We GRANT Udo’s petition for review as to his CAT claim and as to the agency’s frivolousness determination. We DENY Udo’s petition for review as to his due process claim. We REMAND this case to the BIA. Udo is awarded his costs on appeal."

[Hats way off to appointed pro bono publico counsel David Casarrubias, Alexandra Atencio and Breana Burgos!]