Recently the AG issued a decision, Matter of A-C-A-A, that says the Board of Immigration Appeals MUST examine de novo whether the facts found by the immigration judge satisfied all the statutory elements of the asylum claim. The Board should (1) not accept parties stipulations to any particular elements of asylum, (2) instead review each element of a claim before affirming a grant of asylum, (3) deny a claim if the harm inflicted or threatened is not on account of the applicants membership in a particular social group, and (4) not consider persecution that results from personal animus or retribution.
So there’s a lot to unpack in this decision, and most of it is bad for asylum seekers. One, this decision makes stipulations during the trial phase meaningless, which is only going to backlog our court system more than it already is. Two, the de novo review means that the Board essentially gets to review the Immigration Judges findings even if the findings were not contested, and three personal animus or retribution are often involved in cases where religion nationality membership in a particular social group or political opinion are at least one central reason for the persecution.
I am an immigration lawyer who represents individuals, families, and businesses trying to navigate our complex immigration system here in the United States. Unfortunately, that system just keeps getting more complex and increasingly difficult under the Trump Administration and this Department of Justice, headed by Attorney General William Barr.
And the decision in Matter of A-C-A-A is just another example of that. It amounts to the Attorney Generals office attempting to unilaterally rewrite our nations asylum laws. It’s hard to keep up with, but we will. As always thank you for stopping by and please reach out to us on DACALAWYERS.COM or ROSELAWGROUP.COM with any questions.