Huang v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 03-12-2014
  • Case #: 09-72837
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: For the Court Circuit Judge Ikuta; Circuit Judges Farris and Fernandez
  • Full Text Opinion

The Court of Appeals deferred to the adverse credibility ruling of the Immigration Judge against an asylum applicant whose testimony was determined to be not credible and who failed to provide “reasonably obtainable corroborating evidence” of her testimony.

After entering the United States, Ling Huang (Huang) applied for asylum and withholding of removal. Huang claimed to have been persecuted for her Christian beliefs in China, which she testified to before an Immigration Judge (IJ). However, the IJ did not find her testimony to be credible and held that “the evidence in the record was ‘insufficient to meet [Huang’s] burden of proof’ and that she was eligible for asylum or withholding [of removal].’” Huang appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) who affirmed the IJ’s the ruling. The Court of Appeals noted that the applicant “bears the burden of proving [her] eligibility for asylum [and] withholding of removal.” Also, the REAL ID Act authorizes the IJ “to base an adverse credibility determination on ‘the totality of the circumstances’ and ‘all relevant factors,’” which include “the ‘demeanor, candor, or responsiveness’ of the applicant.” Therefore, the panel reasoned that it must give “a healthy measure of deference” to the IJ’s credibility determinations. The panel noted that the IJ had reviewed the record “as a whole” and discussed “the ‘totality of the circumstances’ underlying … [Huang’s] adverse credibility determination.” The IJ had found Huang’s testimony to be ‘“extremely superficial’ and ‘could easily have been memorized’” and she had failed to provide “reasonably obtainable corroborating evidence.” The IJ had found Huang’s demeanor, when she testified to be, ‘“troubling”’ because “Huang ‘hesitated frequently as if to assess the impact of the answer she provided.”’ Given the IJ’s findings, the panel held that Huang was not credible and deferred to the adverse credibility ruling of the IJ. PETITION DENIED.

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