Jiang v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 06-12-2014
  • Case #: 09-70900
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Chief District Judge Navarro for the Court; Circuit Judge O’Scannlian; Partial Dissent and Partial Concurrence by Circuit Judge Bea
  • Full Text Opinion

Inconsistencies between an individual’s asylum declaration recounting physical abuse suffered and the failure to testify about the same during a removal hearing until prompted by the attorney to do so is a sufficient basis to support an Immigration Judge’s adverse credibility determination.

Lianhua Jiang is a citizen of China requesting asylum in the United States. Jiang claims she suffered physical abuse while detained in China due to her identification as a Christian. The physical abuse was recounted in her asylum declaration however, after the request to explain what happened to her four times in the removal proceeding, she failed to address the physical abuse at all until her attorney prompted her to do so. The Immigration Judge (“IJ”) concluded that Jiang failed to provide sufficient credible evidence to establish her eligibility for the requested relief. Jiang appealed, objecting to the IJ’s adverse credibility finding, and argued that the IJ deprived her of a full and fair hearing by failing to act as a neutral fact-finder by commenting on her living arrangements in the United States. The appeal was dismissed by the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) and the IJ’s ruling was affirmed. The BIA indicated that the hearing was fundamentally fair, noting that the questions presented by the IJ about Jiang’s living arrangements represented her efforts to ascertain the nature of Jiang’s relationship with each witness and thereby assess each witness’s credibility. The Ninth Circuit held that in order for an individual to prevail in a request for asylum they must show a “clear probability” of threat to life or freedom if deported to his or her country of nationality. The standard to be used is that it is more likely than not that she would be tortured if removed to the proposed country of removal. The panel states that Jiang failed to provide any evidence beyond the statements the IJ determined were not credible and therefore she did not meet her burden, so her petition for review of the IJ’s order should be denied. DENIED.

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