LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
CA7 on Social Group: Cece v. Holder

"The immigration judge granted Cece asylum in 2006, concluding that she belonged to the group of “young women who are targeted for prostitution by traffickers in Albania,” and that the Albanian government was unwilling or unable to protect such women. ... The Board dismissed Cece’s...

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...

BIA on Social Group, Ghana (Unpub.)

"[R]espondent claims that he belongs to a particular social group consisting of individuals from Ghana who suffer from severe mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, and are indigent and lack family support. ... We conclude, based on the record before us in this case, that the respondent's...

CA4 on Tanzania, Mental Illness, Social Group: Temu v. Holder

"Tumaini Temu is a Tanzanian national who suffers from severe bipolar disorder. In his home country, Mr. Temu was tortured by nurses and prison guards because of his illness. After entering the United States, he applied for asylum, arguing that he was persecuted because of his membership in a particular...

CA4 on Social Group, Former (MS-13) Gang Membership: Martinez v. Holder

"[W]e conclude that the BIA erred as a matter of law in its interpretation of the phrase “particular social group” by holding that former gang membership is not an immutable characteristic of a particular social group for purposes of § 1231(b)(3)." - Martinez v. Holder, Jan...

New BIA Precedent Decisions on Social Group, Social Visibility

Both on Feb. 7, 2014: Matter of W-G-R-, 26 I&N Dec. 208 (BIA 2014) - (1) In order to clarify that the “social visibility” element required to establish a cognizable “particular social group” does not mean literal or “ocular” visibility, that element is renamed...

Asylum Granted by Cleveland IJ: Guatemalan Women Unable to Leave Common-Law Marriage

"Respondent has established that Guatemalan women who are unable to leave a common law relationship is a particular social group. ... Considering these actions in context with the fact that most such violence in Guatemala is motivated by gender, the Court finds that the Respondent has demonstrated...

Particular Social Group Practice Advisory: Applying for Asylum After Matter of M-E-V-G- and Matter of W-G-R

"This practice advisory is primarily intended for attorneys practicing within the jurisdiction of the Seventh Circuit. Attorneys practicing within other jurisdictions are encouraged to utilize other resources specific to their jurisdiction in addition to this practice advisory." - NIJC, Mar...

CA7 on Social Group; Mexico; Honest Police: R.R.D. v. Holder

"While R.R.D. was an investigator for Mexico’s Federal Agency of Investigation, he arrested hundreds of suspects and repeatedly testified against drug traffickers. Drug organizations offered bribes to get him out of their hair and, when he refused, tried to kill him under their “plata...

Unpub. BIA on Asylum, Mexico, Social Group, Gender Identity: Matter of M-G-O-

Ben Winograd writes: "In this unpublished decision, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) found the respondent, a citizen of Mexico, qualified for withholding of removal based on his membership in a particular social group consisting of effeminate gay males with female gender identities. The Board...

CA9 on Guatemala, Social Group: Pirir-Boc v. Holder

Court staff summary: "The panel granted a petition for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture, and remanded for further consideration in light of Henriquez-Rivas v. Holder, 707 F.3d 1081, 1083...

CA2 on Social Group, Albania: Paloka v. Holder

"The primary issue on this appeal is whether “young Albanian women” or “young Albanian women between the ages of 15 and 25" qualify as a “particular social group” for asylum purposes. 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(42)(A). ... In view of the BIA’s two recent precedential...

BIA on Particular Social Group, Guatemala: Matter of A-R-C-G-

Official Headnote: Depending on the facts and evidence in an individual case, “married women in Guatemala who are unable to leave their relationship” can constitute a cognizable particular social group that forms the basis of a claim for asylum or withholding of removal under sections 208...

Unpub. BIA Asylum Remand Victory: Honduras, Social Group

"Since the time of the respondent's hearing, the Board has issued several decisions addressing the issue of particular social group. See Matter of M-E-V-G-, 26 I&N Dec. 227 (BIA 2014), and Matter of W-G-R-, 26 I&N Dec. 208 (BIA 2014) (clarifying what is required to establish a particular...

Unpub. BIA Withholding Victory, Particular Social Group, Witness Testified Against Gang Members

Sarah K. Bazzi writes: "I retained a client for ERO representation and did a FOIA. It turns out that the IJ had granted my client withholding and DHS had appealed. Coincidentally, my alma mater, the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, had taken the case pro bono and students...

CA4 on Social Group, El Salvador: Hernandez-Avalos v. Lynch

"Maydai Hernandez-Avalos, a native and citizen of El Salvador, petitions for review of a final order of removal entered by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). For the reasons that follow, we grant Hernandez’s petition for review, vacate the BIA’s order, and remand for further proceedings...

IJ on Asylum, Social Group, Honduras: Matter of O- (Unpub.)

Camila Palmer writes: "I wanted to share an IJ decision finding my client was a member of a PSG of "former honest police officers," distinguishing Matter of Fuentes. I think its a well-written decision and thought it might be useful to other practitioners, should you want to share it on...

Unpub. BIA Asylum Remand Victory; Iraq, Social Group, Immutability

"In the instant case, the Immigration Judge found that the respondent's proposed social group lacks an immutable characteristic. However, the past experience of having cooperated or worked with Americans or American entities or organizations is, by its very nature, immutable. In addition, the...

CA4 on Social Distinction / Social Group: Oliva v. Lynch

Oliva v. Lynch, Nov. 25, 2015 - "We conclude that the BIA erred by interpreting the nexus requirement too narrowly, and that Oliva successfully demonstrated that membership in his proposed social groups was at least one central reason for his persecution. We further conclude that the BIA failed...

CA9 on Social Group: Flores-Rios v. Lynch

Flores-Rios v. Lynch, Dec. 1, 2015 - "Because few groups are more “readily identifiable than the family,” the BIA’s determination that the petitioner had not shown membership in a particular social group “was manifestly contrary to law.” ... In the face of Flores-Rios’s...

Unpub. BIA Asylum Remand: Social Group; Nexus; Mexico

Matter of X-, Apr. 18, 2016, unpub . - "[A]nalysis is also required as to the issues of particular social group cognizability and nexus. The proposed social group in this case is "working class, single women in Michoacan." ... we conclude 'that a remand is warranted for further proceedings...

Judge Posner on Social Group, Immutability: Salgado Gutierrez v. Lynch (Concurring)

Salgado Gutierrez v. Lynch, Aug. 24, 2016 - "I write separately only to address a proposition in the immigration court’s opinion (and echoed I regret to say in opinions of this court) that seems to me palpably false, though not determinative in this case. The proposition is that the status...

Asylum Victory in Portland (Mexico; PSG)

Amanda Gray writes: "I wanted to share with you a recent IJ decision granting asylum to a woman and her four children* based on her membership in the particular social group of “Mexican women unable to leave their domestic relationship.” DHS made the argument that Respondent did not...

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...

Jeffrey S. Chase: Honor Killings and Particular Social Group

Jeffrey S. Chase, Dec. 2, 2017 - "The threat of honor killing may form the basis of an asylum claim. While men may be targeted as well,1 honor killings are a gender-based form of persecution, as the underlying basis is the view in certain societies that a woman’s failure to strictly adhere...