Sunday, July 13, 2008

Continued Immigration Judge Errors in Asylum Cases

Let's take a quick peek at whether the immigration court system (immigration judges followed by the BIA or Board of Immigration Appeals) is making mistakes that are only being caught by an appeal to a federal circuit court. Some lobbyists are urging Congress to limit circuit court review even more than it is already restricted. Would we find errors in asylum cases, which suggest review should be expanded to save asylum-seekers from errors?

Ali v. Mukasey (2d Cir. June 18, 2008): BIA and IJ Alan Vomacka erred in denying CAT relief by denying the asylum-seeker a fair hearing through the IJ's "seeming bias against the petitioner and reliance on unfounded assumptions about homosexuals." The Second Circuit quoted comments by IJ Vomacka such as "It seems to the Court that the common understanding, which I believe would apply from the U.S. to Guyana, would suggest that violent dangerous criminals and feminine contemptible homosexuals are not usually considered to be the same people . . . ."

Li v. Mukasey (2d Cir. June 13, 2008): BIA and IJ Barbara A. Nelson erred in rejecting asylum claim using legally inadequate reasons. To find someone's testimony too vague to be believed, the IJ must identify inconsistencies and give the asylum-seeker a chance to address them. An IJ cannot reject documents for the sole reason that the asylum-seeker did not follow an optional procedure in 8 CFR 287.6.

Barwari v. Mukasey (2d Cir. June 30, 2008) (summary order): discussing amount government must pay to the asylum-seeker whose case was wrongly decided by the BIA in June 2006. Government must pay $6,600 in EAJA fees.

Hasanbelliu v. Mukasey (2d Cir. June 30, 2008) (summary order): overturning IJ and BIA because it was not clear they recognize that a single event of what may seem like a minor beating can be considered past persecution when it was done in conjunction with an arrest or detention.

Sidy Barry v. Mukasey (2d Cir. June 30, 2008) (summary order): IJ Paul A. DeFonzo and BIA erred by incorrectly saying there was no corroborating evidence and not addressing his explanation of apparent inconsistencies in his testimony.

Shu v. Mukasey (2d Cir. June 27, 2008) (summary order): IJ Joanna Miller Bukszpan and BIA erred by ignoring how an attempt to sterilize a man is persecution.

Oumar v. Mukasey (2d Cir. June 24, 2008) (summary order): IJ Michael W. Straus and BIA erred by improperly putting the burden of proof about firm resettlement on the asylum-seeker.

Dong v. Mukasey (2d Cir. June 20, 2008) (summary order): IJ Thomas J. Mulligan and BIA erred by failing to consider and rule on the asylum-seeker's fear of future persecution based on the portion of the testimony that the IJ deemed credible.

Zheng v. Mukasey (2d Cir. June 13, 2008) (summary order): IJ Sandy K. Hom and BIA erred by not addressing the asylum-seeker's story that he was afraid of being arrested in case other people told the police about him or the police saw him outside a meeting, even if the police probably did not physically see him in that meeting. They also ignored certain corroborating evidence. (The Second Circuit specifies the BIA erred but does not make clear whether IJ Hom also made those same errors or whether it was something the BIA tacked on when it got the case.)


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