Haile v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 09-26-2011
  • Case #: 06-74309; 09-70779
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Gould for the Court; Circuit Judge M. Smith, Jr. and District Judge Marbley
  • Full Text Opinion

In denying a Convention Against Torture deferral, the Board of Immigration Appeals must base its decisions on substantial evidence, not factual inaccuracies or hypothesized assumptions not grounded in the record.

Letekidan Ukabanikiel Haile entered the United States in 1999 with a tourist visa, but stayed beyond the authorized period. In 2000, her asylum application was denied, and the Department of Homeland Security initiated removal proceedings. Haile conceded removability, but applied for relief from removal under the Convention Against Torture (“CAT”). The IJ concluded Haile was barred from asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT protection because she had engaged in terrorist activities, and failed to show it was “more likely than not” that she would suffer torture upon removal to Eritrea. The Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) dismissed Haile’s appeal, and she brought two petitions for review. The first was to the finding that she was statutorily ineligible for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under CAT in the form of withholding of removal based on the terrorism bars under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(2)(A)(v). Second, she appealed the finding that she was not eligible for deferral of removal under the CAT. The Ninth Circuit upheld the BIA’s conclusions that the Eritrean Liberation Front was a terrorist organization, and that Haile had engaged in terrorist activities, as such conclusions were supported by substantial evidence. Additionally, the Ninth Circuit held it lacked jurisdiction to address Haile’s other arguments, but because the record compelled the conclusion that Haile demonstrated it was “more likely than not” that upon return to Eritrea she will be tortured, the Court grated relief of deferral of removal under CAT. PETITIONS DENIED IN PART, DISMISSED IN PART, AND GRANTED IN PART.

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