Friday, June 8, 2018

Forced Labor Can Result in "Material Support" Bar to Asylum and Withholding of Removal


Don't expect many victories for the noncitizen in the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).  In Matter of A-C-M-, 27 I&N Dec. 303 (BIA 2018), the Board ruled that an alien provides “material support” to a terrorist organization if the act has a logical and reasonably foreseeable tendency to promote, sustain, or maintain the organization, even if only to a de minimis degree.  Here is the punchline:  "The respondent afforded material support to the guerillas in El Salvador in 1990 because the forced labor she provided in the form of cooking, cleaning, and washing their clothes aided them in continuing their mission of armed and violent opposition to the Salvadoran Government."

Former BIA Chair Paul Wickham Schmidt begins the title of his blog post ( about the ruling with "STOMPING ON THE PERSECUTED."

BIA member Linda Wendtland, a former attorney with the Office of Immigration Litigation in the U.S. Department of Justice, dissented from the Board's "material support" holding.


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Taken to its logical conclusion, if a woman (or man) is raped by the military, possibly asylum eligible. If (s)he raped by someone from an organization recognized by DOS as a terrorist organization, then (s)he's not asylum eligible due to "material support." Is this what we've become? Lunacy!

Posted by: Robert R Gard | Jun 8, 2018 12:35:56 PM

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