Asylum & Refugee Protection

Asylum and Refugee Protection

Under U.S. law, asylum may be granted to aliens who can establish they have well-founded fear of persecution if they were forced to return to country of citizenship or last habitual residence. The persecution must be on account of political opinion, race, religion, nationality, or membership in a particular social group. We have successfully helped our clients from various countries obtain asylum in the U.S. Our Firm is dedicated to helping people escape persecution in their home countries by securing them a safe haven in the U.S. Asylum can be granted to individuals who are just arriving to the U.S. or to people who are already physically present in U.S. Those individuals arriving in the U.S. may ask for asylum at the port of entry. However, individuals already in the U.S. must file their Application for Asylum and Withholding of Removal with the Bureau of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services within one year of their arrival. This filing deadline may be excused if the alien can demonstrate changed or extraordinary circumstances.

Asylum in the United States

The Law Offices of Grinberg & Segal, PLLC is dedicated to helping clients seek asylum. Asylum allows immigrants to escape the persecution that they suffered in their homelands and come to America to start a new life. It also helps those people who did not suffer persecution in the past, but have a legitimate fear of persecution if they returned home.

Updated Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin

On March 6, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updated its Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin. This post includes the new newest Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin.

LGBT Asylum In The USA

Are you a member of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or transsexual (LGBT) community? Do you fear harm, persecution and/or mistreatment in your native country due to your sexual orientation or gender identity? The U.S. Government has recognized asylum claims based upon homosexuality since 1994. Currently, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender, and transsexual individuals may seek asylum based upon membership in a particular social group. As with any applicant for asylum, you must demonstrate you have genuine fear of returning to your native country and that a reasonable person in your situation would also fear persecution.

Sexual Orientation

As discussed in Asylum and Refugee Protection, not every persecution warrants protection by the U.S. law. Instead, following international law, U.S. asylum jurisprudence recognizes only five enumerated grounds, based upon which persecution may lead to a grant of the discretional protection by the U.S. Government. These grounds exist when one central reason in the persecution of the applicant in his or her country of last abode can be shown to have been on account of one of the following: the applicant’s race, ethnicity or national origin, political opinion, religion and/or membership in a particular social group. This showing must be through credible evidence and to the satisfaction of either an immigration officer or a judge.

Persecution & Asylum Law

Protection of refugees fleeing persecution is the heart of the U.S Asylum Law. A “refugee” is defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as: any person who is outside any country of such person’s nationality, or, in the case of a person having no nationality, is outside any country in which such person last habitually resided, and who is unable or unwilling to return to, and is unable or unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of, that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.

Readmission of Asylees and Refugees After International Travel

This article will use applicable statutes, regulations, and an important Immigration and Nationality Service (INS) memorandum issued on November 23, 1999, titled “Readmission of Asylees and Refugees Without Travel Documents”1 (henceforth, “Cooper Memo”) to answer the following questions regarding travel by persons in the United States as asylees and refugees.

The ABT Settlement Agreement

In 2013, United States Citizenship Services (USCIS) and Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) reached a settlement agreement (henceforth “ABT settlement agreement”) that was approved in BH., et al. v. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, et al., No. CV11-2108-RAJ (W.D. Wash.). The ABT settlement agreement changes the manner in which USCIS and EOIR adjudicate the Form I-589, Application for Asylum and for Withholding of Removal, and the Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

Bars to Applying for Asylum

There are three bars to applying for asylum that were created by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), which became effective on April 1, 1997. This article will examine the rules regarding the three asylum application bars and exceptions that certain aliens may be eligible for in order to file for asylum.

Bars to Eligibility for Asylum

The decision on whether to grant an asylum applicant asylum in the United States is discretionary and based on the specific facts of the asylum claim. However, under certain situations, an asylum applicant may be barred from asylum eligibility regardless of the other points that favor his or her claim for asylum claim.

Overview of Refugee Status

“Refugee” has a very specific meaning in U.S. immigration law. A refugee is a foreign national who was persecuted in his or her country of nationality or last habitual residence and is either unable or unwilling to avail him or herself to the protection of his or her country of nationality or last habitual residence. Refugees are distinguished from asylees, who may apply for status from within the United States, in that in order to apply for refugee status; the alien must receive a referral to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) from abroad.

Jang v. Lynch: North Korean Citizens Who Become South Korean Citizens Are Subject to the Firm Resettlement Bar

On December 22, 2015, the Ninth Circuit filed its decision in Jang v. Lynch (Dec. 22, 2015) in which it held that, notwithstanding the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004, a North Korean citizen who availed himself to South Korean citizenship is subject to the “firm resettlement bar” to asylum. This article will look at the facts of the case, the relevant statutes, and the reasoning underlying the Ninth Circuit’s decision.

USCIS Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin (July 8, 2016)

On June 8, 2016, the USCIS released its new Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin. This article includes the new Bulletin.

Definition of "Torture" for Purpose of Relief Under the Convention Against Torture

Under the Convention Against Torture (implemented through Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations), an alien who is subject to a final order of removal may seek withholding of removal, or, if he or she is subject to a mandatory denial ground for withholding, deferral of removal. In order to be eligible for relief under the Convention Against Torture, the alien must demonstrate that he or she would “more likely than not” be tortured in the country to which he or she had been ordered removed. In this article, we will examine administrative and judicial precedent relating to establishing eligibility for withholding of removal and deferral of removal under the Convention Against Torture.

BIA Invites Briefs on Whether Persecutor Bar Contains a Duress Exception

On August 8, 2016, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued an amicus invitation regarding whether there exists a “duress exception” to the “persecutor bar” to asylum under section 208(b)(2)(A)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and to withholding of removal under section 241(b)(3)(B)(i). The amicus invitation allows attorneys to file a Request to Appear as Amicus Curiae along with a brief discussing the issues presented in the amicus invitation. The deadline for filing is September 7, 2016.

October Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin

On October 6, 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released its most recent edition of the Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin. The Affirmative Asylum Scheduling Bulletin is published monthly by the USCIS. It provides the average filing date of those scheduled for asylum interviews in the previous three months at each of the USCIS’s eight asylum offices.

Matter of L-T-P-, 26 I&N Dec. 862 (BIA 2016): Determining When Cuban Paroled After Mariel Boatlift Entered as a Refugee

On December 1, 2016, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a precedent decision in the Matter of L-T-P, 26 I&N Dec. 862 (BIA 2016). In this decision, the Board held that in order to procure adjustment of status under section 209 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), an applicant must either have been admitted as a refugee or granted status as an asylee. The Board held that the respondent in the instant case, who was paroled into the United States on August 25, 1980, with a Form I-94, Arrival Departure Record that was stamped “Cuban/Haitian Entrant (Status Pending) that indicated the purpose of his parole was for “Cuban Asylum,” was not eligible for adjustment of status under section 209 because he had neither been admitted as a refugee nor granted asylum.

Matter of M-S-B-, 26 I&N Dec. 872 (BIA 2016): When an Untimely Asylum Application Can be Frivolous

On December 13, 2016, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a precedent decision titled the Matter of M-S-B-, 26 I&N Dec. 872 (BIA 2016). In this decision, which arose from the jurisdiction of the Third Circuit, the Board distinguished the case from the Third Circuit decision in Luciana v. Att’y Gen. of the U.S., 502 F.3d 273 (3d Cir. 2007) in finding that an untimely asylum application can be found to be frivolous where the applicant made a misrepresentation pertaining the timeliness of the application. For cases arising outside of the Third Circuit, the Board reaffirmed that it stands by the Matter of X-M-C-, 25 I&N Dec. 322 (BIA 2010), which affords Immigration Judges with broader authority to find that an untimely asylum application was frivolous than does Luciana. In this article, we will review the factual and procedural history, the Board’s analysis and decision, and what the new precedent means going forward.

Temporary Suspension of Travel of Certain Refugees Under President Trump's March 6 Travel Order

On March 6, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order titled “Executive Order Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States” (“Travel Order”). This Executive Order revokes and replaces an Executive Order of the same name issued by President Trump on January 27, 2017. In this article, we will examine the new Travel Order in detail as it pertains to refugees, specifically to the 120-day suspension of refugee travel.

Matter of J.M. Alvarado, 27 I&N Dec. 27 (BIA 2017) - Personal Motivation Irrelevant to Persecutor Bar Analysis

On May 5, 2017, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a published decision in the Matter of J.M. Alvarado, 27 I&N Dec. 27 (BIA 2017). In the decision, the Board held that the persecutor bar in section 241(b)(3)(B)(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) applies to an alien who engaged in assisted or otherwise participated in proscribed persecution without regard to the alien’s personal motivation for assisting or participating in such persecution. In this article, we will examine the facts and procedural history of the case, the Board’s reasoning and decision, and what the decision means going forward.

Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 40 (BIA 2017): Asylum Applications Based on Family-Based Particular Social Groups

On May 24, 2017, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a precedent decision in the Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 40 (BIA 2017). In the decision, the Board established general rules for determining when an individual who claims membership in a particular social group comprised of his or her own family can be considered to be the member of a particular social group for purposes of seeking asylum and/or withholding of removal. The Board held that “[w]hether a particular social group based on family membership is cognizable depends on the nature and degree of the relationships involved and how those relationships are regarded by the society in question.” Secondly, the Board held that, in order to establish eligibility for asylum or withholding of removal based on membership in such social group, the asylum applicant “must not only demonstrate that he or she is a member of the family but also that the family relationship is at least one central reason for the claimed harm.” In this article, we will examine the facts of the case, the Board’s reasoning and decision, and the effect of the new precedent going forward.

Eighth Circuit Rejects Asylum Claim Based on Part On Applicant's Fear of Being Perceived to be a Witch

On June 26, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit released an interesting opinion in an asylum case titled Edionseri v. Sessions, — F.3d —— (8th Cir. 2017). Writing for a three-judge panel, Judge Morris Arnold rejected the petition for review of an individual who had been denied asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the convention against torture based on the claim that he feared being persecuted as a suspected witch in his native Nigeria. In this article, we will examine the facts and procedural history and the Eighth Circuit’s reasoning and decision.

Matter of B-R-, 26 I&N Dec. 119 (BIA 2013): Asylum/Refugee Applications and Dual Nationality

On May 3, 2013, the Board of Immigration Appeals issued a published decision in the Matter of B-R-, 26 I&N Dec. 119 (BIA 2013). The Board held that an alien who is the citizen or national of multiple countries and who does not fear persecution in one of those countries does not meet the statutory definition of “refugee” under section 101(a)(42) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This affects applicants for asylum and applicants for refugee status, both of which require the applicant to meet the statutory definition of “refugee.”

Matter of N-A-I-, 27 I&N Dec. 72 (BIA 2017) - Asylee Adjustment Terminates Asylum Status

On August 3, 2017, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a published decision in the Matter of N-A-I-, 27 I&N Dec. 72 (BIA 2017). The Board reached two important conclusions involving asylee adjustment. First, the Board held that an alien who adjusts status as an asylee under section 209(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence is no longer an asylee. In short, the adjustment terminates the alien’s asylee status. On this point, the Board clarified its prior published decision in the Matter of C-J-H-, 26 I&N Dec. 284 (BIA 2014). Second, the Board held that the restrictions on removing an asylee found in section 208(c)(1)(A) of the INA do not apply to an alien who was granted status as an asylee, but who subsequently adjusted status to lawful permanent resident (LPR) status under section 209(b) of the INA. In this article, we will examine the Matter of N-A-I- decision in detail.

President Trump Sets FY 2018 Refugee Admissions Cap at 45,000

On September 29, 2017, President Donald Trump issued a Presidential Memorandum to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson setting the refugee admissions cap for fiscal year 2018 at 45,000. The 45,000 refugee admissions cap for fiscal year (FY) 2018 is significantly lower than the cap of 110,000 that was set by the Obama Administration for fiscal year 2017, although that cap was subsequently reduced by an Executive Order issued by President Trump. The refugee admissions 2018 cap is also the lowest cap since 1980. In this article, we will examine the fiscal year 2018 refugee admissions cap announcement and what it means going forward.

List of USCIS Asylum Offices

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has Asylum Offices set up across the United States. Asylum Offices handle asylum interviews and interviews for suspension of deportation and special rule cancellation of removal under the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA). Only asylum and NACARA suspension/cancellation interviews are scheduled at Asylum Offices by the USCIS. Please note that all of the information is current as of October 18, 2017. Each part of this article summarizes information about the USCIS Asylum Offices from the USCIS website.

Matter of J-A-B- & I-J-V-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 168 (BIA 2017): IJ Cannot Terminate Proceedings for Asylum Application

On November 2, 2017, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a published for-precedent decision in the Matter of J-A-B- & I-J-V-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 168 (BIA 2017). In Matter of J-A-B- & I-J-V-A-, the Board held that Immigration Judges do not have the authority to terminate removal proceedings for the purpose of giving an arriving alien the opportunity to present an asylum claim to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the first instance. In this article, we will examine the facts and procedural history of Matter of J-A-B- & I-J-V-A-, the Board’s reasoning and decision, and what the new precedent will mean going forward for arriving aliens seeking asylum in the United States.

Development of Administrative and Judicial Precedents on "Economic Persecution"

In certain cases, “economic deprivation” may rise to a level as to constitute “persecution” for purpose of asylum and/or withholding of removal. Under the current rules, the economic deprivation must be “severe.” In this article, we will examine in a comprehensive manner how the law on “economic deprivation” as “persecution” has evolved over time, and where the rules stand today. To do so, we will examine the development of judicial and administrative case-law on the subject going back to the 1960s through the Board of Immigration Appeal’s definitive decision on the issue in Matter of T-Z-, 24 I&N Dec. 163 (BIA 2007).

Economic Persecution Decisions - Board of Immigration Appeals

This article examines Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) published decisions on applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and former suspension of deportation based on “economic persecution.” This article is part of a series of articles that also cover Federal appellate court decisions on the same issue.

Economic Persecution Decisions - Circuits 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5

This article examines published Federal appellate court decisions from the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Circuits on applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and former suspension of deportation based on “economic persecution.” This article is part of a series of articles that covers Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuit decisions on the same issue.

Economic Persecution Decisions - Circuits 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11

This article looks at a selection of published Federal appellate court decisions from the United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits on applications for asylum and withholding of removal based on persecution on the basis of economic deprivation. This article is the last in a series of articles that covers published Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) decisions and decisions of the First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth circuits on the same subject.

New Trump Executive Order on Refugees (Oct. 24, 2017)

On October 24, 2017, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order titled “Resuming the United States Refugee Admissions Program With Enhanced Vetting Capabilities.” President Trump’s new October 24 Executive Order resumes the United States Refugee Admissions Program subject to new policies that were developed in accord with the directives in his Executive Order 13780. In this article, we will examine the provisions of President Trump’s new Executive Order and what it will mean for the United States Refugee Admissions Program going forward.

Asylum Applications under the Visa Waiver Program

When an individual seeks admission under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), he or she forfeits the right to seek any form of relief for removal except for asylum. However, an applicant for admission under the VWP or a VWP entrant who is removable (e.g., as an overstay) is only eligible to be placed in asylum-only proceedings before an immigration judge, and the applicant may not file an affirmative asylum application with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). However, those admitted under the VWP are generally permitted to file an affirmative application for asylum with the USCIS if (1) they were admitted under the VWP, and (2) they apply within the 90-day period of stay and are not otherwise removable. In this article, we will examine issues involving the VWP and applications for asylum.

Matter of W-Y-C- & H-O-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 189 (BIA 2018): Requirement to Delineate Particulate Social Group Before IJ

On January 19, 2018, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a published decision in Matter of W-Y-C- & H-O-B-, 27 I&N Dec 189 (BIA 2018). The Board made two key holdings in its decision. Firstly, it held that an applicant for asylum or withholding of removal who is seeking relief based on his or her membership in a particular social group “must clearly indicate on the record before the Immigration Judge the exact delineation of any proposed particular social group.” Second, it held that the BIA “generally will not address a newly articulated particular social group that was not advanced before the Immigration Judge.” Both holdings point to a general rule that applicants for asylum and withholding in immigration proceedings must clearly articulate particular social group claims before an Immigration Judge rather than doing so in the first instance on appeal. In this article, we will carefully examine the factual and procedural history of Matter of W-Y-C- & H-O-B-, the Board’s analysis and conclusions, and what the decision means going forward.

Affirmative Asylum Interview Priority Levels

Beginning on January 29, 2018, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) changed how it prioritizes affirmative asylum applications. The USCIS will now prioritize the most recently filed affirmative asylum applications.

Matter of J-C-H-F-, 27 I&N Dec. 211 (BIA 2018): Use of Border/Airport Interviews for Credibility Determinations

On February 20, 2018, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a published decision in the Matter of J-C-H-F-, 27 I&N Dec. 211 (BIA 2018). The Matter of J-C-H-F- dealt with the question of when an Immigration Judge should consider a border or airport interview in making a credibility determination regarding an alien’s application for protection. The Board held that in this case, “an Immigration Judge should assess the accuracy and reliability of the interview based on the totality of the circumstances, rather than relying on any one factor among a list or mandated set of inquiries. In this article, we will examine the factual and procedural history of Matter of J-C-H-F-, the Board’s analysis and conclusions, and what the new precedent means going forward.

Matter of A-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 227 (A.G. 2018): AG Requests Briefs on Private Criminal Activity Victim and Particular Social Groups

On March 7, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued an immigration precedent decision in Matter of A-B-, 27 I&N 227 (A.G. 2018). In the decision, he referred a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to himself for review, and he requested briefing on the central issue in the case. The issue concerns whether a victim being the victim of private criminal activity constitutes a cognizable particular social group for purpose of establishing eligibility for asylum or withholding of removal. In this article, we will examine the question presented and what this may mean going forward.

Matter of A-C-M-, 27 I&N Dec. 303 (BIA 2018): Material Support Bar Has No Quantitative Requirement

On June 6, 2018, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) issued a published decision in the Matter of A-C-M-, 27 I&N Dec. 303 (BIA 2018). In this decision, the Board adopted an expansive definition of the “material support” inadmissibility ground in section 212(a)(3)(B)(i)(VIII) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which also constitutes a bar to certain immigration benefits such as asylum, withholding of removal, and cancellation of removal. The Board held that the term “material support” does not entail a quantitative requirement, that is, it covers any action that “has a logical and even reasonably foreseeable tendency to promote, sustain, or maintain the [terrorist] organization, even if only to a de minimis degree.”

Jie Shi Liu v. Sessions, 891 F.3d 834 (9th Cir. 2018): Assessing Notice of Corroborative Evidence Rules in Ninth Circuit

On June 1, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a published decision in Jie Shi Liu v. Sessions, 891 F.3d 834 (9th Cir. 2018). The case involved an appeal from the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (BIA’s) decision denying an alien’s applications for asylum and withholding of removal based on persecution based on political opinion. Specifically, the alleged persecution was based on the alien’s claimed resistance to China’s family planning policy. The BIA rejected the claim after concluding that the alien’s testimony alone was not sufficient to establish eligibility for asylum and withholding of removal without corroborating evidence. A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit denied the petition for review after concluding that substantial evidence supported the BIA’s conclusion and that the alien had been put on notice that corroborating evidence was necessary. In this article, we will examine the factual and procedural history of Jie Shi Liu v. Sessions, the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning and decision, and what the precedential decision means going forward for similar cases arising in the Ninth Circuit and more generally.

Mendez Rojas v. Johnson: New Court Order Opens Door for Certain Asylum Applications After One Year

On March 29, 2018, the Judge Ricardo S. Martinez of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington entered an order granting a motion for summary judgment in Mendez Rojas v. Johnson, 305 F.Supp.3d 1176 (W.D. Wash. Mar. 29, 2018). Judge Martinez concluded that the Government had failed to provide certain aliens who it had certified as class members with adequate notice of the one-year filing deadline for asylum applications, and thereby had violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), governing regulations, and due process. As a result, Judge Martinez ordered the Government to begin allowing asylum applications from class members, notwithstanding the one year deadline, within 90 days of the order. The Government has appealed from the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Order remains stayed. However, on August 2, 2018, the government and the plaintiffs entered into a joint stay agreement, wherein during the pendency of the stay, the government will treat as timely filed asylum applications filed by class members who do not have final orders of removal. In this article, we will examine the Order in the instant case and the content of the joint stay agreement.

Matter of M-A-C-O-, 27 I&N Dec. 477 (BIA 2018): IJ Has Jurisdiction Over Asylum App Filed by UAC After Turning 18

On October 16, 2018, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) published a precedential decision in Matter of M-A-C-O-, 27 I&N Dec. 477 (BIA 2018). In Matter of M-A-C-O-, the Board held that “[a]n Immigration Judge has initial jurisdiction over an asylum application filed by a respondent who was previously determined to be an unaccompanied alien child but who turned 18 before filing the application.” In this article, we will examine the factual and procedural history of Matter of M-A-C-O- before discussing the Board’s analysis and conclusions and what the decision will mean for asylum applications filed by certain respondents who were determined to be unaccompanied alien children going forward.

AG Reviews Whether There is a Duress Defense to the Persecution of Others Bar

On June 28, 2018, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) published an important precedent decision in Matter of Negusie, 27 I&N Dec. 347 (BIA 2018). In the decision, which was written over a dissent, the Board held that an alien who is being barred from establishing eligibility for asylum or withholding of removal based on the persecution of others ground may claim a duress defense, “which is limited in nature.” On October 18, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions published a new decision in Matter of Negusie, 27 I&N 481 (A.G. 2018), wherein he referred the BIA's decision to himself for review. In so doing, he automatically stayed Matter of Negusie pending his review. In this article, we will briefly examine what the Board held in Matter of Negusie and the dissenting opinion, the parameters of the Attorney General’s referral, and what the Attorney General’s review of Matter of Negusie may mean going forward.

Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 494 (A.G. 2018): AG Reviews Case on Particular Social Group Made of Family

On December 3, 2018, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker published a precedential referral in Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 494 (A.G. 2018). He directed the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA), under 8 C.F.R. 1003.1(h)(1)(i), to refer its published decision in Matter of L-E-A-, 27 I&N Dec. 40 (BIA 2017), to him for review, and he automatically stayed the decision pending the review. The impending decision will be significant in the context of certain asylum claims based on membership in a particular social group. In this article, we will briefly examine the Acting Attorney General’s referral and what it may mean going forward.