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CA9 on Nicaragua, Social Group, Torture, Persecution: Davila v. Barr

August 10, 2020 (1 min read)

Davila v. Barr

"Carla Patricia Davila petitions for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) order affirming the denial of her application for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). Davila claims that she suffered frequent and severe abuse at the hands of Ronald Alfredo Cevilla, her domestic partner in Nicaragua. When Davila telephoned to Nicaraguan police to ask for protection from Cevilla’s abuse, police officers arrived at the house, took a bribe from Cevilla, and left without speaking to her. The BIA agreed with the Immigration Judge (“IJ”) that Davila had not shown that the Nicaraguan government was unable or unwilling to protect her from persecution, or that a public official acting under the color of law had acquiesced to her torture. It did not reach the question of whether Davila had been persecuted on account of her membership in a cognizable particular social group, or whether Davila’s abuse amounted to torture. The BIA’s conclusions were not supported by substantial evidence. We therefore grant the petition and remand to allow the BIA to address for the first time the questions it did not reach."

[Hats off to Luther M. Snavely (argued) and Reza Athari, Reza Athari & Associates, Las Vegas, Nevada, for Petitioner!]