Li v. Holder

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: 12-31-2013
  • Case #: 08-70586
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Bea for the Court; Circuit Judges O'Scannlain and Christen
  • Full Text Opinion

When hearing a pre-REAL ID Act immigration removal proceeding, an Immigration Judge may interpret inconsistent testimony regarding one claim as adverse credibility toward other claims.

Enying Li appeals the decision of an Immigration Judge ("IJ") that found her testimony to be inconsistent and denied her claims for asylum and protection under the United Nations Covenant Against Torture (CAT). Li, a Chinese citizen, came to the United States and entered without status. She applied for asylum but the Immigration and Naturalization Service ("INS") commence removal proceedings because Li’s lack of status. Li's asylums claims were 1) she was forced to have an abortion because she was a single pregnant mother, 2) the Chinese government restricted her religious freedom by arresting her and fellow parishioners who had held an underground church service in Li's home, and 3) torture related to her detention after her arrest. The IJ found that Li's testimony was inconsistent in two specific areas: the date and reception of her Chinese passport, and her status within the church. The IJ denied her petition for asylum and the BIA affirmed noting that the religious persecution claim was wrought with inconsistencies it casts a shadow on other claims. The panel will only reverse a BIA decision if the evidence compels a contrary conclusion. The decision by the Bureau of Immigration Appeals ("BIA"), which is a pre-REAL ID act decision and has a different standard of review than is currently used, must demonstrate clear evidence for an adverse credibility finding. The panel uses a maxim known as “falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” (false in one thing, false in all things) when analyzing pre-REAL ID act immigration decisions. This maxim permits court to find adverse credibility of other claims when a petitioner is inconsistent with the main elements one claim. The Ninth Circuit denied Li’s appeal because the BIA could make an adverse credibility decision based on inconsistencies with the major elements of her asylum claim. DENIED.

Advanced Search