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CA9 on Social Group, CAT: Cordoba v. Holder; Medina Gonzalez v. Holder

Court staff summary: "The panel granted the petitions for review of Edgar Rene Cordoba and Antonio Medina-Gonzalez from the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decisions denying asylum and withholding of removal on the grounds that their status as landowners did not qualify as a particular social...

Somali CAT Victory in Arlington Immigration Court

Hassan Ahmad writes: "We would like to share a CAT victory won for a Somali national . Judge Harris of the Arlington, VA Immigration Court agreed with our argument that a young, Americanized male of Somali origin would be subjected to torture within the meaning of the Convention either at the hands...

CA5 on CAT, El Salvador: Garcia v. Holder

"The IJ and BIA denied CAT protection because Garcia admitted that he could not be sure whether the extortionists were actually police officers, or whether they were criminals impersonating police officers, and because Garcia did not report the incidents to the police. However, government acquiescence...

CA9 to Hear En Banc CAT Claim/Internal Relocation Burden of Proof Issue

"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered that Maldonado v. Holder be heard en banc. The case was submitted on the briefs in December 2013, then the panel, without issuing a decision, issued this order in April: "Pursuant to General Order 5.4(c)(3), the parties are directed...

Where in the World is Cruz Alberto Garcia?

On July 1, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit published an important opinion regarding CAT (Convention Against Torture,) Garcia v. Holder, No. 13-60381. I went to PACER and discovered that the petitioner was pro se! PACER also indicated that Garcia had been locked up at the South...

CA9 on CAT, Vietnam: Nguyen v. Holder

"Vinh Tan Nguyen (“Nguyen”), a native and citizen of Vietnam, petitions for review of a Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) decision dismissing his appeal from an order of removal entered by an Immigration Judge (“IJ”). Nguyen argues, inter alia, that the BIA...

BIA on Termination of CAT Deferral: Matter of C-C-I-

(1) Reopening of removal proceedings for a de novo hearing to consider termination of an alien’s deferral of removal pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 1208.17(d)(1) (2014), is warranted where the Government presents evidence that was not considered at the previous hearing if it is relevant to the possibility...

Unpub. BIA CAT Remand Victory; Mexico; Mental Illness; Gang Membership

"We agree with the respondent that the Immigration Judge's analysis overlooked the discussion in the DRI report regarding the use of long-term physical restraints, and how the physical pain caused by such use may constitute torture. ... The Immigration Judge also did not consider the report's...

Unpub. BIA CAT Victory: Mexico; Imputed Gang Affiliation

"[T]he respondent has presented evidence, undisputed by the DHS, that the Federal Government and at least one local government in the United States have identified him as a member of the Norteño gang and have done so in the presence of rival gang members. ... Unrebutted evidence presented...

CA9 on CAT, Internal Relocation: Maldonado v. Holder (En Banc)

Court Staff Summary: "The en banc court overruled Hasan v. Ashcroft, 380 F.3d 1114 (9th Cir. 2004), Lemus-Galvan v. Mukasey, 518 F.3d 1081 (9th Cir. 2008), Singh v. Gonzales, 439 F.3d 1100 (9th Cir. 2006), and Perez-Ramirez v. Holder, 648 F.3d 953 (9th Cir. 2011), to the extent they conflict...

Kinship as Particular Social Group: Guatemalan CAT/Withholding Victory at Berks Immigration Court

"The pernicious problem of gender-based violence in Guatemala is a complex phenomenon. But at its core lies the inescapable fact that women in Guatemala are generally viewed as subservient to men and according to the police, unworthy of its protections. Women within the domestic environment suffer...

Cornell Immigration Clinic Wins Interesting CAT Case

"From 2007 to 2010, Naskovets was an identity thief — the voice on the phone that explained questionable purchases to banks and gave final approval for fraudulent wire transfers. He didn’t convince every agent; about a third of the time, the scam didn’t work, he says. Hang up,...

CA9 on Categorical Approach, CAT: Quijada-Aguilar v. Lynch

Court Staff Summary : "The panel granted Walter Quijada-Aguilar’s petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of his applications for withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Convention Against Torture (CAT), as well as deferral...

CA9 on CAT, Mexico, Transgender: Avendano-Hernandez v. Lynch

"The immigration judge (“IJ”) and the BIA erred ... in denying her application for CAT relief, ironically exhibiting some of the same misconceptions about the transgender community that Avendano-Hernandez faced in her home country. The IJ failed to recognize the difference between gender...

CA7 (Posner) on Mexico, CAT, Zetas - Rodriguez-Molinero v. Lynch

Rodriguez-Molinero v. Lynch, Dec. 17, 2015 - "If the Mexican government could be expected to protect the petitioner from the Zetas should he be returned to Mexico, the risk that he would be tortured or killed might be too slight to entitle him to deferral of removal. But the legal team representing...

CA7 (Posner) on Mexico, CAT, La Linea - Mendoza-Sanchez v. Lynch

Mendoza-Sanchez v. Lynch, Dec. 23 2015 - "We explained in Rodriguez-Molinero that if the Mexican government could be expected to protect the petitioner from the drug cartel that wanted to kill him, if he were returned to Mexico, the risk that he would be tortured or killed might be too slight to...

CA7 on CAT, Standard of Review - Estrada-Martinez v. Lynch

Estrada-Martinez v. Lynch, Dec. 31, 2015 - "Estrada is not eligible for withholding of removal because he was convicted in an Illinois state court of statutory rape in 1996, and the Board has characterized his conviction as “particularly serious.” Committing a crime that the Attorney...

Posner Dissents in CA7 Jamaican CAT Case: Fuller v. Lynch

"The majority opinion upholds the denial of relief to Ray Fuller, a Jamaican citizen who seeks relief against removal to Jamaica. His ground for relief is that in Jamaica he would face a likelihood of persecution and torture because he is bisexual. The merit of his claim depends on how two issues...

Unpub. CA3 CAT Remand; Mexico; Sinaloa Cartel; Acquiescence - Guerrero v. Atty. Gen.

Guerrero v. Atty. Gen., Oct. 18, 2016 - "The agency construed the “acquiescence” standard too narrowly. In emphasizing the Mexican government’s efforts to combat the drug cartels and root out corruption, the IJ assumed that as long as the government is attempting to help its citizens...

CA9 on Withholding, CAT, El Salvador: Reyes v. Lynch

Reyes v. Lynch, Nov. 30, 2016 - Court staff summary: "Granting in part and denying in part a petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ decision affirming the denial of withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture, the panel afforded Chevron deference...

CA9 on CAT, Mexico: Barajas-Romero v. Lynch

Barajas-Romero v. Lynch, Jan. 18, 2017 - "We hold that “a reason” is a less demanding standard than “one central reason.” The statutory language is unambiguously different, with different meanings, so there is no ambiguity justifying deference to the administrative agency’s...

CA7 (Posner) on CAT, Honduras, HIV Status: Velasquez-Banegas v. Lynch

Velasquez-Banegas v. Lynch - "Suppose a person if removed to his country of origin would be sure to be persecuted unless, by living in a cave, he avoided all contact with other persons. The next step would be to rule that no one can have a real fear of persecution because if persecution looms he...

CA5 on CAT, Mexico, Willful Blindness, Color of Law - Iruegas-Valdez v. Yates

Iruegas-Valdez v. Yates, Jan. 23, 2017 - ""[W]illful blindness” is not the only way to prove sufficient state action. The regulations specifically list a number of different avenues which the BIA failed to consider: torture occurs whenever severe physical or mental pain is “inflicted...

CA9 on CAT, Ethiopia, Evidence: Agonafer v. Sessions

Agonafer v. Sessions, June 23, 2017 - "[T]he BIA abused its discretion by disregarding or discrediting the undisputed new evidence submitted by Agonafer regarding increased violence toward homosexuals in Ethiopia, including reports of violence by both the government and private citizens. Therefore...

Unpub. BIA CAT/Withholding Remand Victory; Mexico, Transgender (July 6, 2017)

Stephen W. Yale-Loehr , Professor of Immigration Law Practice, Cornell Law School, writes: "Our Cornell asylum/ CAT appeals clinic just won a BIA remand in a case involving a transgender person from Mexico. A summary of the case and a redacted version of the BIA’s July 6 decision are [ here...