CA3 on Credibility, Clear Error: Alimbaev v. Atty. Gen.

CA3 on Credibility, Clear Error: Alimbaev v. Atty. Gen.

Alimbaev v. Atty. Gen., Sept. 25, 2017 - "This disconcerting case, before our Court for the second time, has a lengthy procedural history marked by conflict between the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and the Immigration Judge (IJ) and fueled by troubling allegations that Petitioner, an Uzbek national, relished watching violent terroristic videos, while apparently harboring anti-American sympathies. The issue on appeal, however, is whether the BIA correctly applied the clear error standard of review, as required, when reviewing the IJ’s factfinding in this case — an inquiry that highlights the role of faithful adherence to applicable standards of review in preserving the rule of law, safeguarding the impartiality of our adjudicatory processes, and ensuring that fairness and objectivity are not usurped by emotion, regardless of the nature of the allegations. Because we conclude that the BIA misapplied the clear error standard when reversing the IJ’s finding that Petitioner’s testimony was credible, we will grant the petition for review of the BIA’s removal order, vacate the denial of Petitioner’s applications for adjustment of status, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), and remand once more to the BIA."

[Hats off to Larry Rudnick!]