CA5 on CAT, El Salvador: Garcia v. Holder

CA5 on CAT, El Salvador: Garcia v. Holder

"The IJ and BIA denied CAT protection because Garcia admitted that he could not be sure whether the extortionists were actually police officers, or whether they were criminals impersonating police officers, and because Garcia did not report the incidents to the police.  However, government acquiescence in the form of low-level officials acting under color of law could be found even if the extortionists were not clearly police officers.  There is evidence in the record that, regardless of whether the extortionists were police officers, they may have been receiving information about Garcia from other public officials, who obtained that information in their official capacities.  Garcia’s testimony, which the IJ specifically found to be credible, reflects that the threats and beating came immediately or soon after Garcia had contact with government officials, and that he believed the threats and beating were connected to the contact with those officials. ... The BIA denied CAT relief solely because it was not clear that the men who threatened and beat Garcia were actual police officers.  Neither the BIA nor the IJ considered the alternative view of the evidence showing that the extortionists may have received their information about Garcia from other government officials acting in their official capacities.  Because of this error regarding what Garcia was required to show to obtain CAT protection, the BIA committed legal error.  We vacate the BIA’s decision and remand for the agency to properly consider this evidence under the “under color of law” legal standard." - Garcia v. Holder, July 1, 2014, pro se.

[IMPORTANT NOTE: This is a pro se case.  The ICE Detainee Locator website indicates that Garcia, who had been locked up at the Pearsall, TX immigration jail, is no longer detained.  Did DHS deport him back to El Salvador?  if so, will they find him and bring him back?]