CA7 on Credibility: Cojocari v. Sessions

CA7 on Credibility: Cojocari v. Sessions

Cojocari v. Sessions, July 11, 2017 - "This is one of those relatively unusual cases where the agency’s credibility finding is arbitrary and capricious. As we detail below, the immigration judge made mountains out of molehills, fashioned inconsistencies from whole cloth, and held Cojocari’s efforts to obtain corroborating documents against him. We remand for a fresh assessment of Cojocari’s credibility, preferably by a different immigration judge. ... 

We do not often see a timely asylum case where the applicant is a citizen of a country infamous for corruption and political oppression and presents a broadly consistent narrative and substantial corroboration. Yet Cojocari has done just that. ... 

[M]ost of the discrepancies on which the immigration judge relied are so trivial or illusory that we have no confidence in her analysis or in the Board’s decision resting on that analysis. Cojocari is entitled to a fresh look at his prior testimony and the evidence he supplied in support of his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT. We therefore grant the petition for review. We urge the Board to assign this case to a different immigration judge for the remand proceedings. That is the best way to ensure that Cojocari gets the fair shake he deserves."

[Hats off to Howard R. Davis!]