Friday, April 14, 2006

Can't Penalize Asylum-seekers For Lying To Escape Persecutors

The Second Circuit stressed in Lin v. Gonzales, No. 03-4989 (2d Cir. Apr. 12, 2006) that asylum-seekers cannot be punished by an immigration judge for lying to escape persecution when their lie is made just to escape the people who will immediately mistreat them. There is a theory that if someone uses one false document, it can raise questions about every other document the person submits. This theory (in Latin, falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus), though, has its limits, and the IJ incorrectly punished an asylum-seeker who while in China used a false sterilization certificate to avoid the persecution of Chinese authorities who insisted on sterilizing her under their harsh child planning policies.

The Second Circuit also noted that it is well-established that asylum-seekers should not be seen as automatically unreliable if they used fake travel documents in order to escape persecution and reach safe haven. Lies by asyum-seekers to escape immediate persecution must be viewed in their context, and not seen as automatically disqualifying their claims.


Post a Comment

<< Home