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CA9 on Persecution, Social Group: Cristobal Antonio v. Garland

January 26, 2023 (1 min read)

Cristobal Antonio v. Garland

"Rebeca Cristobal Antonio, a native and citizen of Guatemala, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) streamlined affirmance of the immigration judge’s (“IJ”) denial of her claims for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). Antonio was verbally and physically harassed and received death threats because her community in Guatemala perceived her to be a lesbian, including because she wore men’s clothing to work. In her petition for review, Antonio challenges the IJ’s findings that: (1) this treatment did not amount to persecution, (2) the relevant social group for asylum purposes is based on “manner of dress,” and (3) no persecution was committed by the Guatemalan government or by forces that the government was unwilling or unable to control. The first finding is not supported by substantial evidence in the record. The second finding suffers from several errors discussed below. And in making the third finding, the agency did not consider all highly probative evidence in the record. We therefore grant the petition and remand for further proceedings."

[Hats off to Marco A. Jimenez!]