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Immigration Law

CA4 on Evidence, El Salvador, Gang Violence: Alvarado Alvarado v. Barr (unpub.)

Alvarado Alvarado v. Barr (unpub.)

"[H]ere, Alvarado’s testimony, like that of the applicant in Ortez-Cruz, did not conclusively establish a change in circumstances. Accordingly, the Government bore the burden to demonstrate that that it was more probable that Alvarado’s lack of knowledge of continued threats against her family resulted from an actual end to the threats than from her family’s desire to prevent her from worrying. The Government, however, presented no evidence addressing this ambiguity. And Ortez-Cruz instructs that the Government cannot overcome the presumption of future persecution by relying solely on ambiguous evidence introduced by the applicant. Id. at 198. For these reasons, we can only conclude that no reasonable adjudicator could find that the Government proved a change in circumstances such that Alvarado no longer had a well-founded fear of future persecution. We thus vacate the BIA’s decision affirming the denial of Alvarado’s asylum application. ... [W]e grant the petition for review and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

[Hats off to Briana Carlson and Benjamin Osorio!]