Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Second Circuit Seeks BIA Help on Whether Political Activity in US Can Satisfy Asylum Standard

In Lin v. Holder, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in an unanimous opinion by Judge Guido Calabresi, yesterday stated that:

"This case concerns whether political ac tivity first undertaken in the United States amounts to `changed circumstances' for purposes of the asylum provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), 8 U.S.C. § 1158. Weinong Lin, a native and citizen of China who entered the United States as a non-immigrant in 1999, avows that he fled China because of his experience with “autocracy and corruption” there, Appellant’s Br. at 5, that he harbored private anti-communist political beliefs when he left China, but th at he did not publicly express those views until December 2007, when he joined the China Democratic Party World Union (“CDPWU”), wrote essays for the CD PWU website criticizing the Chinese Communist Party, and began attending group protests at the Chinese Consulate General’s Office in New York City and at the Chinese Embassy in Washington."

The court sought guidance from the Board of Immigration Appeals on the standards at play when a foreigner living in the United States seeks asylum based on political activities that occurred in this country. The Second Circuit sent the matter of Weinong Lin back to the Board of Immigration Appeals because of a legal error, but pleaded with the tribunal for a "careful precedential opinion" setting "some guidelines on how to judge similar cases in the future."  For further anaylsis, click here.


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