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Blanco v. Atty. Gen.
"Ricardo Javier Blanco, a citizen of Honduras, is a member of Honduras’s Liberty and Refoundation (“LIBRE”) Party, an anti-corruption political party that opposes the current Honduran president. After participating in six political marches, he was abducted by the Honduran police and beaten, on and off, for twelve hours. He was let go but received death threats over the next several months until he fled to the United States. He applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). The Immigration Judge (“IJ”) denied all relief, and the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) affirmed. Blanco now petitions for review of the agency’s decision, arguing that the BIA and IJ erred in denying his asylum and withholding of removal claims on the basis that his treatment did not rise to the level of persecution. He also argues that it was improper to require him to corroborate his testimony to prove his CAT claim. Because the agency misapplied our precedent when determining whether Blanco had established past persecution, and because it did not follow the three-part inquiry we established in Abdulai v. Ashcroft, 239 F.3d 542, 554 (3d Cir. 2001), before requiring Blanco to corroborate his CAT claim testimony, we will grant the petition, vacate the BIA’s decision, and remand for further proceedings."
[Hats off to patent lawyers Gary H. Levin and Aaron B. Rabinowitz!]