Monday, January 19, 2009

Chen (not precedential): Falun Gong-Based Asylum Claims Cannot Be Denied Without Proof

Chen v. Mukasey
Not Precedential
Jan. 12, 2009
Judges McKee, Nygaard, and Roth. Per Curiam decision.

Overturning the BIA and IJ Alberto Riefkohl. The BIA affirmed without opinion and was overturned by the Third Circuit.

The IJ erred in drawing three conclusions about Falun Gong practice that did not have a basis in the record.

First, the IJ mistakenly concluded the asylum-seeker did not provide any corroborating evidence but the asylum-seeker had submitted a corroborating affidavit from her mother, which the IJ did not discuss. Second, the IJ concluded without supporting evidence that the asylum-seeker's parents who did not practice Falun Gong normally would have been punished by China because their daughter practiced Falun Gong. Third, the IJ concluded without supporting evidence that it was impossible for someone in the US to practice Falun Gong alone at home without making connections with Falun Gong practitioners in New York City.


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