Two completely different three-judge panels of the San Francisco-based 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals recently found fault with administrative rulings denying asylum petitions by gay men from Iran and Guatemala. In both cases, the Justice Department's Board of Immigration Appeals had upheld the Immigration Judge (IJ) decisions denying asylum or withholding of removal, an alternative form of avoiding deportation, but the federal court determined that the petitioners should have a new opportunity to present their cases.
In one of the cases, the court found the errors so egregious that it suggested that the matter be assigned to a different Immigration Judge for rehearing.
A November 13 ruling involved a petition by a gay man from Iran, a country whose practice is to execute gay men, according to reports by the press and international human rights organizations. The petitioner claimed that he had been arrested, interrogated, detained, and tortured by Iranian authorities, who sought to pry out of him the names of his homosexual contacts ... http://www.gaycitynews.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=2021393...
1. The really, deep evil aspect of gay is a "choice" brought home to rooste.
>>But the appeals panel found that "This determination was based, in part, on the IJ's speculation as to how a gay man would behave in Iran, as well as assumptions about how Sharia, Islamic customary law, treats homosexuality."
The judge questioned why the petitioner would have associated with women and possessed alcohol, Sharia offenses, and rejected his assertion that he was trying to deflect attention from his homosexuality by associating with women.
Based on her credibility determination, the IJ decided the petitioner was not gay.
The court found that it was wrong for the IJ to rely on her own beliefs about Sharia and conditions in Iran, and to deny the petitioner an opportunity to present expert testimony. The court speculated that the expert "likely would have been able to shed light on Islamic law's treatment of these various crimes, perhaps explaining behavior."<<
He wasn't really gay, you see in order to save his life in that system *cough* he associated with women, thus, the IJ just knew he was not really gay....he had a choice!
Next on the docket:
>>In the case of the gay Guatemalan man, the court, in a November 24 decision, found that the petitioner failed to meet the burden of proof on his asylum bid, but that an Immigration Judge had incorrectly imposed "a higher burden of proof on attempt to prove past persecution for the purposes of withholding of removal," the alternative to a grant of asylum. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) had upheld the Immigration Judge, and both attracted the appeals court's criticism.
The court sent the case back to the BIA "to determine whether the petitioner suffered past persecution" for his inclusion in a social group - in this case, homosexuals - protected by asylum law. If that proves to be the case, then the petitioner enjoys a presumption that his "life or freedom would be threatened in the future" and is entitled to stay in the US, unless the government can show that circumstances have changed or the problem is localized and he could avoid trouble by living elsewhere in his home country.
The Immigration Judge, the court found, looked only at three categories of harm the petitioner suffered - his treatment as a child, his rape as an adult, and his detention by the police. That judge's ruling never mentioned other evidence that the petitioner had presented - that he had been disowned by his father, was "treated like a woman by the family he lived with," was "continuously harassed at his job," and "was actually fired because of his sexual orientation." <<
Am I reading this correctly, his detention by the police was not sufficient, alone?
2. Immigration judges' GOP ties trump experience, records show
By Amy Goldstein and Dan Eggen The Washington Post
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration increasingly emphasized partisan political ties over expertise in recent years in selecting the judges who decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, despite laws that preclude such considerations ....
At least one-third of the immigration judges appointed by the Justice Department since 2004 have had Republican connections or have been administration insiders, and half lacked experience in immigration law, according to Justice Department, immigration-court and other records ...
Justice officials also gave immigration judgeships to a New Jersey election-law specialist who represented GOP candidates, a former treasurer of the Louisiana Republican Party, a White House domestic-policy adviser and a conservative crusader against pornography.
These appointments, all made by the attorney general, have begun to reshape a system of courts in which judges, ruling alone, exercise broad powers. Each year the judges deport nearly a quarter-million immigrants, who have limited rights to appeal and no right to an attorney. The judges do not serve fixed terms ...
5. Rs don't really have a coherent immigration policy: the business elite
want borders porous enough to flood the market with cheap workers, and they want immigration enforcement to be able to deport whole factories quickly if the workers get uppity. The campaign strategy involves playing to a xenophobic base, so the Rs can repay cronies with immigration judgeships while scoring points with business and the xenophobes -- provided the cronies take an inflexible kick-em-all-out stance, which the moron cronies are happy to do since that doesn't require them to know diddly or to exert themselves understanding the facts
6. The main point is that these judges can be replaced?
If they were appointed by a repug AG can't they be unseated by Dem AG's, or voters?
At the very least, there is an appeal system, which I am sure is not something the average immagrant can availe themselves of, or even know, but at least according to this article an appeals mechanism exists.
The United States is proving yet again that we're less civilized than the vast majority or Europe and Canada--you know, the civilized world. I could understand the Guatemalan having difficulty getting to Europe, but Canada is fairly close. He should have tried there.
11. Sad isn't it? We used to be the beacon for freedom (for most)
I suspect that many countries consider us superstitious,ignorant and war like these days.
The last eight years should have been a clue to would-be immigrants, things such as Gitmo, Abu G and the former code of conduct known as the Geneva Convention, now known as Presidential signing statements.
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