CA7 on Derivative Asylum, Social Group, Internal Relocation: N.L.A. v. Holder

CA7 on Derivative Asylum, Social Group, Internal Relocation: N.L.A. v. Holder

"The immigration judge concluded that N.L.A. failed to meet her burden of proof that she has suffered from past persecution or that she would suffer from future persecution on the basis of her membership in a social group of land owners (or some permutation of that category) or because of her political opinion. The Board of Immigration Appeals (Board) affirmed. These decisions, however, do not reasonably follow from the record evidence and compel a contrary conclusion. For this reason we grant the petition for review and remand to the Board for further consideration of N.L.A.’s case and her family’s derivative claims. ... The harm that the immigration judge and Board described as “derivative” in this case is not really derivative at all. ... In sum, there can be no rational reason for the Board to reject a category of “land owners” when the Board in Acosta specifically used land owning as an example of a social group and this Circuit has made clear that the category of educated land owning cattle farmers targeted by the FARC qualifies as a social group. ... The Board’s conclusion that N.L.A. could indeed relocate, which is based on what the Board views as her sister’s success, is not reasoned or logical." - N.L.A. v. Holder, Mar. 3, 2014.  [Hats off to Kelly J. Huggins!]