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CA9 on Reopening, Religious Persecution, Indonesia: Nababan v. Garland

November 23, 2021 (1 min read)

Nababan v. Garland

"[W]e hold that the BIA committed legal error because it did not assess the individualized risk of persecution that Petitioners face due to their identity as evangelical Christians. Accordingly, we grant the petition for review and remand to the BIA. On remand, the BIA should assess whether country conditions in Indonesia have materially changed for evangelical Christians in particular, as distinct from Christians in general. If the BIA finds materially changed country conditions, the BIA should consider the impact of Petitioners’ recent leadership roles in their church, which the BIA previously characterized as changes in personal circumstances, see Rodriguez v. Garland, 990 F.3d 1205, 1210–11 (9th Cir. 2021) (“Changes in a petitioner’s personal circumstances are only relevant where those changes are related to the changed country conditions that form the basis for the motion to reopen.”), and determine whether Petitioners have established prima facie eligibility for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the CAT, see Agonafer v. Sessions, 859 F.3d 1198, 1204 (9th Cir. 2017)."

[Hats off to Howard R. Davis!]