Thursday, November 20, 2008

Massaquoi (not precedential): Mentally Ill Person Loses Asylum Claim

Massaquoi v. Mukasey
No. 07-2417
Not Precedential
November 20, 2008

Judges Smith, Cowen and Thompson (District Judge Anne E. Thompson from D.N.J.)
Opinion by Judge Thompson

Affirming the BIA, which had overturned IJ Robert P. Owens

Benjamin D. Yerger of Lancaster, PA argued the case for Mr. Massaquoi. Jeffrey L. Menkin argued the case for the Office of Immigration Litigation.

An expert testified about the lack of mental health care in Liberia and how the public there perceive the mentally ill. The Third Circuit held that the evidence given by the expert was not strong enough to support an asylum claim because it seemed tenuous, speculative, and uncorroborated. Without knowing more about the case, it is very difficult to interpret the Third Circuit's comment that there was no "solid evidence" about persecution.

It is difficult to see how this opinion will be significant in other cases because it is hard to tell what kind of evidence the Third Circuit sees by definition as not being solid.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Former Assistant Chief Immigration Judge Robert P. Owens was instrumental in failing to prosecute Immigration Judges Sean H. Keenan, Thomas M. O'Leary and John Davis who brought booze into a facility that houses both Federal Bureau of Prisons inmates and DHS detainees in Eloy, Arizona. Due to testimony against him in a Discrimination Matter and his permitting Immigration Judges to bring booze into a prison he was relieved of his duties as Assistant Chief Immigration Judge.

Though his conduct in the discrimination matter (Elizabeth Sanchez v Dept. of Justice) and permitting Judges to bring contraband prohibited by Federal Law into a prison should have resulted in his removal from the Dept. of Jutice.

11:25 PM  

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