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BIA Remands of Immigration Judge William Cassidy Denial of Asylum Claims

Below is a summary of several BIA decisions remanding Immigration Judge WIlliam Cassidy’s denial of asylum claims.

One must keep in mind that the vast majority of Judge Cassidy’s decisions denying asylum claims are never appealed. As such, the sampling below is a proverbial “tip of the iceberg.” Full decisions of BIA remands of IJ Cassidy from 01/01/2014 to 05/26/2016

IJ Cassidy, asylum remand decisions:

1.Decision date: April 6, 2016

IJ denied D.V. Based asylum claim, respondent was pro se at final asylum hearing.

Basis for remand: “Upon review of the transcript, it is difficult to entire discount the respondent’s claim that the immigration judge commentary suggested he pre-judged certain aspects of the case before hearing and evaluating all the evidence.”

2. Decision date: February 10, 2016.

Basis for remand: “The record reflects that the immigration judge ordered respondent removed after a motion was filed by an attorney on the respondent’s behalf entitled Motion for Order of Removal. However, there is no no Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative before the Immigration Court…contained in the file. Furthermore, the immigration judge’s decision does not reflect that the Respondent was represented at the time the motion was filed or when he issued his order.”

3. Decision date: March 17, 2016.

Basis for remand: “We conclude that the Immigration Judge erred in finding that the lack of a formal marriage between respondent and her domestic partner, and the fact that the relationship lasted no longer than 1 year, were distinguishing facts which prevented her from establishing a cognizable social group similar to the group discussed in Matter of A-R-C-G,”

4. Decision date: February 6, 2016.

Basis for remand: “The Immigration Judge Found that the Respondent had not established a prima facie case for asylum without giving respondent an opportunity to provide oral testimony and evidence in support of her claim. We find that the Immigration Judge erred in denying Respondent’s applications for asylum and withholding of removal without first conducting an evidentiary hearing or giving her an opportunity to present evidence or witnesses in her behalf.”

5. Decision date: December 17, 2015

Basis for remand: Insufficient fact finding, specifically, “…the Immigration Judge, in finding that “the respondent was not in a domestic relationship with the individual who raped her”, overlooked the respondent’s claims that she was in fact forced to remain in a relationship with the gang member who raped her.”

“We are also concerned about the thoroughness of questioning of the pro se respondent as to her efforts, if any, to seek protection from the government of El Salvador. The immigration judge enquired whether respondent had made a report to the police, and the respondent testified that she had. However, the Immigration Judge did not make it clear whether he was referring to actions by respondent’s first or second male partner, and he asked no follow up questions.”
6. March 31, 2016

Basis for remand: “the Immigration Judge’s decision does not contain sufficient findings of fact and legal analysis to permit us to conduct a meaningful review of his credibility and nexus determinations.”

7. December 16, 2014:

Basis for remand: “In light of our many concerns regarding the hearing in this case and the misunderstanding of the respondent’s claim, we find it necessary to remand the record for a new hearing and a new decision.”

(Asylum denied based on adverse credibility finding, relying heavily on credible fear interview notes, which BIA strongly disapproved of in its decisions.)

8. August 22, 2014:

Basis for remand: attorney for asylum Applicant withdrew at the merits hearing. IJ went forward with hearing despite applicant being unrepresented. “…as is the case here,…when counsel for the alien withdraws, the immigration judge must grant a reasonable and realistic amount of time and provide a fair opportunity for an applicant to seek, speak with, and retain new counsel.”

9. July 25, 2014:

“Basis for remand: “We conclude that the Immigration Judge’s adverse credibility determination does not comport with the REAL ID Act’s requirements to consider the totality of the circumstances and all relevant factors.”

10. January 8, 2015

Basis for remand: IJ denied asylum claim based partly on adverse credibility determination. BIA held, “Considering the respondent’s overall testimony and the corroborating statements provided, we conclude that the respondent credibly testified that she suffered abuse at the hands of her husband (who is now deceased), and was also abused, starting as a young child, by other family members in Guatemala.”

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