Sunday, July 08, 2007

More Immigration Judge Basic Mistakes

An earlier blog posting listed a slew of basic errors that immigration judges have made in asylum cases, in each case to hurt the asylum-seeker unfairly. The BIA in each of the cases overlooked the errors and rejected the asylum-seeker's appeal, which led to a long and expensive petition for review to a circuit court, which overturned the BIA and IJ's errors.

The basic mistakes keep happening. And not just in asylum cases. For example:

In re Kun Jie Chen, No. 06-2729-ag (2d Cir. July 3, 2007) (summary order): IJ Brigitte Laforest cannot say that someone seeking adjustment of status had an "inability to explain" certain discrepancies when the record shows the person offered explanations of the discrepancies. Even if an IJ may be permitted to analyze and reject the explanations, an IJ may not ignore the explanations and say the person as unable to offer explanations. In other words, an IJ must at least look at the evidence and explanations that the person submits. This seems like a relatively basic principle.

Shamshualeev v. Gonzales, No. 06-4658-ag (2d Cir. July 3, 2007) (summary order): IJ Michaelangelo Rocco erred in an asylum case by not weighing whether four different attacks on him over a seven year period cumulatively proved the person suffered past persecution. According to the Second Circuit, IJ Rocco incorrectly believed the last two attacks are random acts by thugs.

Abdur Rahim v. Gonzales, No. 06-5051-ag (2d Cir. July 3, 2007) (summary order): IJ Sarah Burr and the BIA erred by accepting and relying on a State Department report that lacked basic details about its veracity. Here, the State Department provided a report that did not list the names or qualifications of the people who conducted the investigation or share any report the investigators might have received from the U.S. Embassy they contacted. Whenever the goverment wants to use State Department reports, they must explain the name and qualifications of investigators, the objective and extent of the investigations, and the methods used to verify the information. Zhen Nan Lin v. U.S. Dep't of Justice, 459 F.3d 255 (2d Cir. 2006).


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