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Immigration Law

Unpub. BIA Asylum Victory: Russia, Political Opinion

Matter of X-, Apr. 12, 2021, unpub.

"The respondent has credibly established that his conviction was pretexual in nature and on account of his political opinion. ... We do not find serious reasons to believe that the respondent committed a serious non-political crime outside of the United States. ... The respondent presented evidence that his home was searched by police officers and he was detained for 7-8 months, during which time his life was threatened and he was subjected to various physical beatings, the last of which rendered him unconscious and resulted in a one-week hospitalization (Tr. at 77-109). Given the evidence presented, we conclude that the respondent has demonstrated that he suffered persecution under the Act. ... 

fn.3 - The particularly serious crime bars, as set forth in sections 208(b)(2)(A)(ii) and 241(b)(3)(B)(ii) of the Act, may not be relevant to foreign convictions. We are aware of no precedential decision from any court or administrative tribunal, or any regulatory language, suggesting that these bars so apply to such convictions. Given our finding that the respondent is not subject to the bar, however, we find it unnecessary to resolve this issue in the present matter.

[B]ecause we have found that the respondent suffered past persecution on account of his political opinion, the record will be remanded to allow the DHS an opportunity to rebut the presumption of a well-founded fear of persecution."

[Hats off to Danielle Claffey!]