“Inside Baseball”⚾️ — The human, administrative, and taxpayer costs of the BIA’s unwillingness to uphold the statute in the face of DHS and EOIR “Management” intransigence — and their disregard for clear warning signals from the Supremes — are unfathionable to anyone outside this totally dysfunctional and out of control system! See, e.g., https://www.lexisnexis.com/LegalNewsRoom/immigration/b/insidenews/posts/ca9-on-stop-time-rule-quebrado-cantor-v-garland.
Could there be any clearer example of the need to take this mess out of the DOJ and create a competent, expert, independent Article I Immigration Court with real judges?
The asylum/withholding portion of this decision appears to be an atrocious misconstruction and intentional misapplication of asylum law by the BIA!
In fewer than five minutes of “internet research,” I found three authoritative pieces of evidence that should have been sufficient to show an endemic, ongoing racial and psg persecution of Indigenous Guatemalans and a total failure of state protection. See, e.g., https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/USCOURTS-ca6-18-03500/pdf/USCOURTS-ca6-18-03500-0.pdf; https://monthlyreview.org/2020/09/01/a-violent-guatemala/; https://minorityrights.org/trends2018/guatemala/.
This, in turn, should long ago have been adequate for a BIA of better-qualified appellate judges who have asylum expertise and are willing to to stand up for the legal rights of asylum seekers to issue a precedent finding a “pattern or practice” of such persecution in Guatemala. See, e.g., 8 C.F.R. § 1208.13(b)(2)(iii)(A).
With such a precedent, cases like this could be expeditiously granted at the Asylum Office or in focused Immigration Court hearings, instead of “kicking around the system” for more than three years and then being wrongly decided at both the trial and appellate levels. Wonder why our immigration system is a mess? Look no further than Garland’s anti-immigrant EOIR!
The panel’s conclusion that indigenous status wasn’t even “a reason” for gang persecution is preposterous — proof of institutional bias against asylum seekers, particularly those from the Northern Triangle!
The improperly and intentionally skewed asylum denial rates at our Southern Border feed the nativist fiction that asylum seekers are illegally seeking entry into the US. In reality, they appear to be victims of systemic racial, ethnic, and xenophobic bias fueled by both DHS and DOJ even under this Administration.
We currently have no functioning legal asylum system at ports of entry, nor have we had one for several years. “Gimmicks” like “Remain in Mexico” and “Title 42” have illegally replaced our legal protection system.
Why WOULDN’T folks seek refuge through irregular entry in such an insane situation? Who in their right mind wouldn’t?
This system further generates bogus “apprehension” numbers used by DHS, DOJ, and politicos of both parties to generate false panic about the arrival of persons seeking legal status that we have unlawfully suspended!
Many of these individuals deserve to be legally admitted and allowed to contribute to our society! Instead, they are demonized, demeaned, dehumanized, and otherwise mistreated by our Government.
Indeed, GOP politico-restrictionist-alarmists are already trying to inflame public opinion by raising the manufactured “specter” that a slow moving so-called “caravan” of unarmed, desperate, and vulnerable migrants seeking to apply for legal refuge from some of the most repressive and dangerous countries in the world are an existential threat to the security of what is supposed to be the most powerful nation on earth! Letter asking BIden to enforce laws at brder 11.4.21 What poppycock!
They mischaracterize the group as having “nonexistent asylum claims.” But, how would they or anyone else know, since we currently have no system to fairly adjudicate such claims and no reliable information about the individual circumstances on which they are based?
Instead of engaging in racially charged panic and lawless enforcement, why not just direct them to report to legal ports of entry where they could be properly screened by trained Asylum Officers in a prompt and fair manner? 400 well-trained Asylum Officers doing two cases per day could complete the screening in a matter of days or several weeks at most!
Those who pass credible fear could be referred to Immigration Court in cooperation with legal aid and NGO groups to help them prepare and insure appearance. Represented asylum seekers appear for Immigration Court at a rate approaching 100%! Why wouldn’t an Administration truly interested in a fair and orderly asylum system concentrate on increasing representation rather than imposing more “guaranteed to fail” enforcement-only gimmicks?
Those who do not pass credible fear could be returned, provided that can be done in a safe and humane manner, perhaps working with the UNHCR and other international aid organizations to insure safe and orderly acceptance in the home nations.
And, unlike the current lawless system, we would actually have some empirical information about the claims of those applying at the border. It seems likely that under a fair and legal application asylum law, many would have valid asylum claims. But, without a fair hearing system and more Immigration Judges and BIA judges who are experts in asylum law and will fairly apply it, who knows? Right now, everyone is just “guessing” about the potential merits the claims because we don’t now have, and haven’t for some years had, a fair system for deciding those individual cases!
Here’s a still-timely article from Professor Bill Hing (ImmigrationProf Blog) about how we are repeating our past mistakes of mistreating Central American asylum seekers. https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_race_poverty_law_journal/vol17/iss2/5/
The same is true of Haitians seeking asylum. https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2021/11/biden-is-replaying-a-forgotten-us-atrocity-against-haitian-refugees.html
An Administration unwilling to stand up for values, justice, and the rule of law for the most vulnerable among us doesn’t stand for much of anything at all. Maybe cowardice and lack of moral compass is the reason why Dems can’t govern and keep losing elections they should have won!
The GOP long ago “cornered the market” on dishonesty, immorality, and anti-democratic behavior. The Dems can gain nothing, and lose much, by emulating them!
🇺🇸Due Process Forever!