CA7 on 'Reasoned Explanation' - Ni v. Holder

CA7 on 'Reasoned Explanation' - Ni v. Holder

"The courts of appeals have received scores of strikingly similar petitions for review involving Fujian Province in recent years, and we have regularly upheld the BIA’s refusal to grant relief in such proceedings. Routine can be numbing, however, and it can lead to errors. Here, in evaluating Ni’s motion to reopen, the BIA failed meaningfully to address documents bolstering Ni’s assertion that conditions in China have changed for the worse. Ni’s evidence indicates that family planning officials in and around his hometown recently launched a crackdown on those who flout the “one-child policy.” This oversight is particularly worrisome in light of the BIA’s frequent admonitions that such localityspecific evidence of coercive enforcement measures is necessary for asylum claims predicated on China’s population control policies. Because the BIA failed “to announce its decision in terms sufficient to enable a reviewing court to perceive that it has heard and thought and not merely reacted,” see Iglesias v. Mukasey, 540 F.3d 528, 531 (7th Cir. 2008), we grant Ni’s petition for review. ... we note that we make no prediction on the ultimate outcome of Ni’s motion to reopen or his application for asylum. But he is entitled to have the expert agency, the BIA, evaluate in a transparent way the evidence that he has presented. Simply stating that a 2007 document defeats a claim, when the alien has accepted 2007 as a baseline and has introduced voluminous evidence of change in later years, will not do. The BIA “must consider the issues raised, and announce its decision in terms sufficient to enable a reviewing court to perceive that it has heard and thought and not merely reacted.” Iglesias, 540 F.3d at 531. That has not yet happened here. For these reasons, the petition for review is GRANTED, and Ni’s case is REMANDED to the BIA for further proceedings consistent with this opinion." - Ni v. Holder, Apr. 26, 2013.  [Hats off to Gary J. Yerman!]