Immigration Impact Advoacy

Immigrant Rights for Children

In Mejia Romero v. Holder the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated a decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying asylum to Celvyn Mejilla-Romero, a young man from Honduras who was 13 at the time he applied for asylum. The Court of Appeals sent the case back to the BIA because it had not followed international and national standards regarding children’s asylum cases.

Although Celvyn’s family had suffered severe persecution in Honduras, the BIA rejected his claim because they did not consider his testimony sufficiently detailed. The case will now be considered using child-sensitive procedures. This decision establishes a strong precedent for children’s asylum cases and will influence hearings before Immigration Judges throughout the country.