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Immigration Law

CA9 on Credibility: Munyuh v. Garland

Munyuh v. Garland

"Ms. Munyuh’s case concerns us. From our reading of the record, the IJ seemed determined to pick every nit she could find. Besides erring procedurally, the IJ discounted probative evidence on flimsy grounds and displayed a dubious understanding of how rape survivors ought to act. Although we give great deference to the IJ as factfinder, substantial-evidence review does not require us to credit the credibility finding of an IJ who cherry-picks from—or misconstrues—the record to reach it. The IJ must consider the “totality of the circumstances, and all relevant factors.” 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(iii) (emphasis added). At the very least, the two legal errors we have identified warrant remand. The IJ erred by failing to give specific, cogent reasons for rejecting Ms. Munyuh’s reasonable, plausible explanations for the discrepancies tied to her declaration that the police truck broke down after only four or five kilometers. And she further erred by discounting the supporting documentation without giving Ms. Munyuh adequate notice and opportunity to provide corroborative evidence. We therefore vacate the removal order and remand the case to the Board for further proceedings consistent with this opinion. PETITION GRANTED; VACATED and REMANDED."

[Hats off to Ronald D. Richey!]