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Posts from the ‘Other’ Category

Asylum Grant of Immigration Activist Marco Saavedra

Credit: nytimes.com

Below is the full decision of the Immigration Judge’s decision granting our client, Marco Saavedra, political asylum.

Here is an excerpt:

“Here, the Respondent has proven that he has a well-founded fear of persecution in Mexico based on political opinion, namely his opposition to the human rights and immigrant rights violations that occurs in Mexico against Central American migrants as expressed through his immigrant rights activism work. The record establishes that Respondent is a human rights activist with a history of advocating on behalf of migrant communities both in the United States and in Mexico.”

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Immigration Judge Charles Conroy made baseless assumption on what the demeanor of a victim of sexual abuse should be.

Below are 24 BIA remands and underlying decisions of Immigration Judge Charles Conroy:

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According to the Board of Immigration Appeals, Immigration Judge Charles Conroy determined an asylum applicant to be not credible because “the respondent was a bit hesitant when describing the sexual advances toward him by the Prime Minister.”

From the decision:

“…the respondent asserts that the Immigration Judge should not have based his adverse credibility finding on respondent’s demeanor while discussing the alleged sexual harassment. We Agree. The Immigration Judge’s only finding pertaining to demeanor was that “the respondent was a bit hesitant when describing” the “alleged sexual advances towards him by the Prime Minister. The Immigration Judge provided no basis for his assumption about how a victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault should testify. See Hu v. Holder, 579 F.3d 155, 159 (2d Cir. 2009) (holding that an Immigration Judge’s demeanor finding constituted “impermissible speculation” where he “provided no basis for his assumptions about how someone who had…a forced abortion would testify.” Therefore, the Immigration Judge’s demeanor finding does not support his adverse credibility determination.

Our question is this: what was Judge Conroy’s assumption on how victims of sexual harassment or assault should testify? The inverse of “a bit hesitant.” From the context given, it is reasonable to infer that Judge Conroy would doubt the credibility of many, if not most or all, victims of sexual abuse based on them merely appearing “a bit hesitant” when they revisit, recollect, and reconstruct the traumatic event(s) of being a victim of sexual abuse.

Here is the full BIA decision and Immigration Judge Charles Conroy’s underlying oral decision:

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Here is the excerpt from Conroy’s decision:

Click here for all the results from FOIA of Immigration Judge Conroy BIA remands and decisions.

Immigration Judges Asylum Grants & Denials in FY 2018-2019

After over 7 months, EOIR finally provided the Immigration Judges’ asylum grants and denials for FY 2018 and FY 2019, respectively.

To see the same statistics from FY 2014 to FY 2017, see this previous post. (which took less than 1 month for responsive records)

Of note is the asylum grants and denials for the 6 Immigration Judges who AG William Barr hand-picked for the Board of Immigration Appeals in 2019:

2 of the 6 new BIA members–Hunsucker and Cassidy–denied all their asylum cases in FY 2019.

All 6 of the new BIA members had asylum grant rates of below 10% in FY 2019.

Judge Gorman and Goodwin’s asylum grant rates dropped precipitously in FY 2019–from 14% to 3% and 9% to 3 %, respectively.

Immigration Judge Stuart Couch:

FY 2018: 210 asylum denials. 3 asylum grants. Grant rate: 1.4%

FY 2019: 166 asylum denials. 9 asylum grants. Grant rate: 5%

Immigration Judge Earle Wilson:

FY 2018: 226 asylum denials. 9 asylum grants. 3.8% grant rate.

FY 2019: 110 denials. 3 asylum grants. 2.6 % grant rate.

Immigration Judge William Cassidy:

FY 2018: 24 asylum denials. 1 asylum grant. 4% grant rate.

FY 2019: 40 asylum denials. 0 asylum grants. 0% grant rate.

Immigration Judge Keith Hunsucker:

FY 2018: 19 asylum denials. 0 asylum grants. 0% grant rate.

FY 2019: 35 asylum denials. 0 asylum grants. 0% grant rate.

Immigration Judge Stephanie Gorman:

FY 2018: 174 asylum denials. 30 asylum grants. 14.7% grant rate.

FY 2019: 281 asylum denials. 11 asylum grants. 3.76% grant rate.

Immigration Judge Deborah Goodwin:

FY 2018: 302 asylum denials. 33 asylum grants. 9.85 % grant rate.

FY 2019: 177 asylum denials. 6 asylum grants. 3.27% grant rate.

For reference purposes, the average grant rate for FY 2018 and FY 2019 was 33% and 29%, respectively.

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