Friday, March 02, 2007

Komarovas (not precedential): BIA May Not Rely On Decisions That Lack Explanation

In Komarovas v. Gonzales, No. 05-5384 (3d Cir. Mar. 2, 2007) (not precedential), the Third Circuit ruled that the BIA and IJ Charles M. Honeyman erred by concluding without explanation that the asylum-seeker did not suffer persecution through a series of attacks, including a knife attack. The IJ (and BIA) noted that a series of small attacks can when taken together be persecution but did not explain why he did not find the series of attacks in this case to be persecution. The IJ (and BIA) also seemed strangely to focus on how a knife attack might not have been premeditated (even though it would also raise enormous fear for the victim) and that the knife attack did not include an actual stabbing (but only because police happened to come by and stop the attack at the last second). Essentially, if the IJ issues a decision that you just can't figure out, it may be a good basis to appeal the case -- the BIA can't rely on a decision that just plain does not explain itself.


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