Sunday, February 04, 2007

Frequent Immigration Court Mistakes Against Asylum-Seekers

A number of people threatened with deportation instead ask for asylum. There has been an avalanche of criticism in asylum cases where the immigration judges and the BIA (an appellate body formed by the Department of Justice) make frequent mistakes that improperly hurt those seeking asylum. Here's a sampling. Read it to believe it -- so many mistakes against those facing deportation! It must be so frustrating for the circuit courts -- and for the immigrants who have to fight their case for years just to get basic mistakes corrected.

Tang v. BCIS, No. 03-4890 (2d Cir. Feb. 1, 2007) (summary order): IJ Sandy Hom and BIA erred by focusing on discrepancies of asylum-seeker's testimony and written application that her husband filed even though the husband could easily have been lying to invent an asylum claim for himself. IJ Hom and the BIA did not identify how the husband's writings contradicted the asylum-seeker's testimony either.

Liu v. Gonzales, No. 03-4803-ag (2d Cir. Jan. 30, 2007): IJ Philip Morace and BIA erred by concluding the asylum-seeker was not believable because he did not offer enough details about what happened, but the record did not justify that conclusion. For example, he testified he was not present during his wife's sterilization and she did not explain to him how the procedure happened. Yet the IJ complained that he did not provide enough detail about what he was never told about. Also, even if he did not know how doctors conducted sterilization, the way in which someone is sterilized does not affect how an asylum claim can be based on any kind of sterilization. Congratulations to Mark Von Sternberg, Mario Russell of Catholic Charities Community Services along with law students Maame Agyeiwaah, Katie Brandes, and Molly Thomas-Jensen, who filed an amicus curaie brief in support of the asylum-seeker

Hong Chen v. BIA, No. 06-1596 (2d Cir. Jan. 26, 2007) (summary order): IJ Roxanne Hladylowycz and BIA erred by relying heavily on a misapprehension of the record. For example, they thought testimony of a September 2001 arrest contradicted a written application that said an unspecified date after graduating in July 2001, he was arrested. Obviously, not a contradiction.

Mei Dong v. Gonzales, Nos. 05-1232, 05-3768 (2d Cir. Jan. 25, 2007) (summary order): BIA erred by requiring evidence clearly demonstrating future persecution when the law only requires showing a realistic chance of facing future persecution).

Thavendran v. Gonzales, No. 05-2723-ag (2d Cir. Jan. 26, 2007) (summary order): IJ Sandy Hom and BIA erred by not considering whether there was a pattern and practice of persecution in Sri Lanka against people of Tamil ethnicity, a basic issue in asylum cases.

Qin Wang v. BIA, No. 06-2341-ag (2d Cir. Jan. 25, 2007) (summary order): BIA erred by violating the rule that you can file a motion to reopen at any time if you show changed circumstances in your personal case.

Xiang Tang v. Gonzales, No. 06-3267-ag (2d Cir. Jan. 25, 2007) (summary order): IJ Sandy Hom and BIA erred by finding asylum-seeker not believable only because her husband wrote different account in his own case. IJ should have considered possibility the wife was telling the truth while the husband lied to try to help his own application.

Kasama v. Gonzales, No. 05-3091-ag (2d Cir. Jan. 19, 2007) (summary order): IJ Philip Montante and BIA erred by failing to analyze asylum-seeker's claim of persecution due to disproportionate punishment after refusing to be conscripted into a labor force. Also failed to analyze whether military force the asylum-seeker refused to join was condemned by the international community.

Kourani v. Gonzales, No. 06-2413-ag (2d Cir. Jan. 18, 2007) (summary order): IJ Adam Opaciuch and BIA erred by not explaining why they found the asylum-seeker not credible. They also made a mistake by not realizing that someone who flees to avoid punishment for refusing to join a military force condemned worldwide is a valid basis for seeking asylum.

Diaby v. Gonzales, No. 06-2129-ag (2d Cir. Jan. 18, 2007) (summary order): IJ William Van Wyke and BIA erred by not clarifying misunderstands caused by the interpreter and the transcript is confusing. They also never discredited detailed testimony about what the asylum-seeker suffered.

Smajlaj v. Gonzales, No. 05-6712-ag (2d Cir. Jan. 17, 2007) (summary order): IJ Sandy Hom and BIA erred by using flawed reasoning to conclude that someone fleeing Albania can now safely return because conditions changed since 2000. IJ Hom compared the latest reports with the conditions in Albania in 1990, but never compared it with the conditions in 2000.

Huang v. Gonzales, No. 05-5509-ag (2d Cir. Jan. 17, 2007) (summary order): IJ Joanna Bukszpan and BIA erred by assuming with no supporting evidence (and ignoring contrary evidence) that Falun Gong followers can practice their beliefs freely in their homes in China without facing any punishment.

Cao v. Gonzales, No. 06-2609-ag (2d Cir. Jan. 17, 2007) (summary order): IJ Brigitte LaForest and BIA erred by believing the asylum-seeker has the burden of proving relocation to avoid persecution by the government is unreasonable, when the legal regulations state the opposite. They also made other fatal errors that I won't bother describing here.

Pan v. Gonzales, No. 03-40623-ag (2d Cir. Jan. 16, 2007) (summary order): IJ Theresa Holmes-Simmons and BIA made four fatal errors such as mishearing the testimony about how Mr. Pan's wife removed her IUD in 1997 and incorrectly thinking he said his wife became pregnant in 1997.

Xiao v. Gonzales, No. 06-1637-ag (2d Cir. Jan. 11, 2007) (summary order): IJ and BIA made numerous factual mistakes, such as assuming a notation the person moved in 1993 for marriage must have meant they married in 1993, even though they had a 1990 marriage registration and explained they lived with one of their parents for 3 years before finally moving to their own home.

Mema v. Gonzales, No. 05-2570 (7th Cir. Jan. 11, 2007): IJ and BIA ignored the evidence that the person seeking asylum will be attacked because his enemies confuse him with his identical twin, whose political opinions they disliked.

Gomes v. Gonzales, No. 03-3020 (7th Cir. Jan. 11, 2007): IJ and BIA somehow concluded there was no evidence that asylum-seeker faced threats due to his religion even though they accepted as true all of his evidence, including how attackers told him to renounce Christianity or be killed.

Nakimbugwe v. Gonzales, No. 05-60258 (5th Cir. Jan. 5, 2007): IJ and BIA failed to apply the clear rule that if someone mails an asylum application to the government within one year of arriving, the person satisfies the one-year rule even if the government does not receive it until a few weeks later.

Ticoalu v. Gonzales, No. 05-1620 (1st Cir. Dec. 28, 2006): IJ and BIA acted unreasonably by calling a news article on recent violence in central Sulawesi as completely irrelevant to whether the asylum-seeker could safely return to northern Sulawesi.


At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone who transcribes immigration hearings for a living, I can report that judges and TAs seldom listen and often come in with a negative and biased attitude. Many will twist the facts just to deny applications.

At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been transcribing Immigration proceedings for 10 years and am very familiar with the laws. You need to read up on some of the laws. Yes, the IJ's many times don't listen or misunderstand, but more often than not, the asylum-seeker is afraid of nothing else but to leave the economic opportunities of this country, which is not a basis for asylum.

At 1:49 PM, Blogger One Great American said...

send them all home NOW!!! SIMPLE

At 4:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An attitude such as yours confirms you are NOT a GREAT American.You do NOT even qualify as a decent HUMAN BEING.You do fit the part of an uneducated racist.People like you is what this Country needs less of.Why dont you go back home?If you have any idea WHERE you even came from!


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