This is the third issue of the newsletter summarizing important immigration-related cases decided by 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and District Court decisions from Georgia, Florida, and Alabama. The summarized cases are for December 2015. All of the attorneys writing the summaries – John Gihon, Marshall Cohen, Roberta Cooper – should be commended for their hard work. Any feedback from members, including ideas to improve it, would be appreciated. You may contact Bruce Buchanan at firstname.lastname@example.org or John Gihon at John@slgattorneys.com.
Vicolas, et al. v. U.S. Attorney General, 14-15174 (11th Cir. Nov. 30, 2015) (unpublished)
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (11th Circuit) found that the record did not compel reversal of the BIA’s and IJ’s determination that the petitioner failed to credibly and persuasively establish a nexus between alleged persecution and his political beliefs in his asylum claim. Under Rodriguez Morales v. U.S. Att’y Gen., 488 F.3d 884, 890 (11th Cir. 2007), the Court must be compelled to find that the alien will be persecuted because of his political opinion in order to reverse a finding of lack of sufficient nexus. Though an applicant’s testimony alone may be sufficient to meet his burden of proof, the Court found petitioner’s testimony of alleged incidents of police beatings due to his political beliefs was inconsistent, vague and implausible. The Court noted that in all organized protests or meetings, the petitioner was the only one to be harmed even though he had only just been involved in politics in Moldova for a few months. Other individuals, who had opposed the Communist Party for years, were not hurt. For every arrest, there was another plausible reason for his detention that was unrelated to his political views. Furthermore, his wife, who was present at one of the incidents, did not testify to corroborate his testimony. Lastly, the petitioner’s evidence was mostly based on second-hand information as it originated directly from the petitioner without independent confirmation.