Friday, November 20, 2009

Sharif (Not Precedential): BIA Cannot Deny Motion To Reconsider In Incomprehensible Decision Where BIA Erred By Ignoring Key Evidence

Sharif v. Holder
No. 08-4432
November 13, 2009
Not Precedential

Judges Barry, Stapleton, and Nygaard. Per Curiam. Overturning the BIA in a case originally heard by IJ Daniel A. Meisner.

The Third Circuit held that the BIA erred in denying a motion to reopen without providing any coherent explanation for its decision. After losing a case with IJ Meisner and the BIA, Mr. Sharif filed a motion to reopen with the BIA arguing that conditions in his country had changed that supported an asylum claim. The BIA denied the motion to reopen and Mr. Sharif filed a motion to reconsider. The BIA denied the motion to reconsider but did not offer coherent analysis. The BIA's failure to offer coherent analysis happens so often that the Third Circuit has a rule on it -- when the deficiencies in the BIA's decision make it impossible to review the decision meaningfully, the Third Circuit will vacate the decision and remand the case. Kayembe v. Ashcroft, 334 F.3d 231, 238 (3d Cir. 2003).

Here, the BIA incomprehensibly admitted that it failed to recognize some of the evidence that formed the reason why Mr. Sharif sought to reopen his case, but then in a summary manner said it made no error. It is hard to comprehend how the BIA could admit it overlooked key evidence and then skip to a conclusion that it made no errors.


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