Friday, February 01, 2008

Maliqi (not precedential): IJ and BIA Must Give Some Explanation Of Its Decision

Maliqi v. Mukasey, No. 06-3169 (3d Cir. Jan. 23, 2008) (not precedential): IJ Esmeralda Cabrera and the BIA made wholly inadequate decisions while concluding that the person did not prove that he deserved asylum protection.

The Third Circuit pointed out that even though the amount of scrutiny it will exercise is limited, the BIA and IJ must give the Third Circuit something to review. The BIA and IJ cannot announce a conclusion that the asylum-seeker loses without giving some insight into its reasoning and explaining whether the claim was legally flawed or factually unproven. Also, if the BIA and IJ find someone not credible, they must explain why or what parts of the story it found unbelievable.

The Third Circuit overturned the BIA and IJ's decisions because they were inadequate. The supposed analysis they offered were not determinative. If they suggest the testimony was not corroborated, they need to specify what should have been corroborated, whether it makes sense for the asylum-seeker to obtain corroboration, and any explanation the asylum-seeker has for not providing corroboration. The BIA and IJ said it was not clear whether the asylum-seeker past persecution but did not clearly say whether or not he did so -- or why not. If the BIA and IJ believe there was a fundamental change of the circumstances after he suffered past persecution, they must explain why they came to that conclusion, instead of not explaining their reasoning.

In the end, the Third Circuit simply found the BIA and IJ's decisions to be vague, incomplete, and contradictory. It is sad to see that the asylum-seeker had to fight for years and be thankful he could appeal to one federal court so that justice could be done and the improper decisions could be overturned. This case does not exactly inspire much confidence in the BIA or the immigration court system.


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