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CA9 on Standard of Review: Umana-Escobar v. Garland

March 17, 2023 (1 min read)

Umana-Escobar v. Garland

"Josue Umana-Escobar petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) order upholding the immigration judge’s (“IJ”) denial of asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). He also challenges the BIA’s determinations that defects in the Notice to Appear (“NTA”) did not require termination of his proceedings and that the BIA lacked authority to administratively close his case. We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. § 1252. We dismiss the defective NTA claim for lack of jurisdiction and deny the petition as to the CAT claim. We grant the petition and remand as to the administrative closure issue, given the government’s recommendation that we should do so based on an intervening decision by the Attorney General. We also grant the petition and remand as to the asylum and withholding of removal claims because the BIA applied the wrong standard in reviewing the IJ’s determination that the evidence failed to establish the requisite nexus between a protected ground and past or future harm."

[Hats off to Sabrina Damast and Jose Medrano!]