Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Jumping Through S-Visa Hoops (Not Precedential)

Tse v. Gonzales, No. 05-2113 (3d Cir. Sept. 15, 2006), not precedential, http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/052113np.pdf
The S-visa is an important aid to law enforcement by granting immigration status to those who actively help with ongoing criminal investigations. Many immigration attorneys, though, complain that seeing an S-visa is as rare as spotting an endangered species. The Tse case shows that in that rare instance where ICE grants an S visa, it still takes a long time to get the required immigration relief. In the Tse case, ICE finally granted an S visa in December 2005. It took essentially until August 2006 for OIL (lawyers representing ICE on appeal) to confirm that Mr. Tse did actually get an S visa and it makes sense to remand the case. It's bad enough that calling the police for help can land someone into deportation proceedings; the least they can do is smooth the path for those rare informants that ICE give S visas.

Ugbome v. Gonzales, No. 05-3020 (3d Cir. Sept. 13, 2006) (not precedential) http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/053020np.pdf
The Third Circuit overturned Judge Sease, who tried to use the Real ID Act of 2005 to deny an asylum claim. The Real ID Act emphasized that judges can deny asylum claims if corroborating evidence was available but not produced. The problem with invoking that in this case, though, was Judge Sease concluded the asylum-seeker provided no corroboration, thereby ignoring two sworn affidavits. Before any judge can take an adverse conclusion for failing to provide available corroborating evidence, the judge must analyze whether the person in fact provided corroborating material. Judge Sease also failed to put the burden of proof on the government to prove that someone who suffered a well-founded fear of past persecution cannot relocate elsewhere in the country.


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