Sunday, January 29, 2006

Caushi: IJ and BIA Ignored Testimony and Relied on Baseless Conclusions

Filed 01/23/06, No. 04-4506
Caushi v. Gonzales
Caushi v. Atty Gen USA

Yet another case where an immigration judge denied the claims of an asylum-seeker by ignoring evidence in the record. The Third Circuit overturned the IJ and BIA's ruling because they failed to address the evidence.

Here, the IJ ignored the testimony that police shot and killed the asylum-seeker's brother-in-law and claimed responsibility for the murder. The IJ, strangely, also agreed that the asylum-seeker had been beaten but ruled he was not slashed during the beating even though there were numerous scars confirmed by a doctor because a hospital report at the time did not clearly mention the cuts. The IJ also, strangely, agreed that the asylum-seeker's father was arrested for his political beliefs and the asylum-seeker himself was a member of the youth branch of the Democratic Party but somehow concluded that he did nothing that would bring himself to the attention of the authorities simply because he did not become a full-blown member of the party. This is especially strange because police killed his relative for political reasons, too.

But there were more fatal errors: the IJ without any analysis or explanation rejected his sister's testimony because it supposedly seemed like she had a selectory memory. The Third Circuit looked at the testimony and showed that the sister testified pretty clearly, when you account for the usual confusion when using an interpreter.

Finally, the Third Circuit ruled that the BIA did not make a mistake in denying the asylum-seekers recent motions to reopen his case. In the end, the Third Circuit overturned the ruling and ordered further proceedings based on the IJ and BIA's errors.


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