Immigration Impact Advocacy

children asylum and safe haven seekers

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.

women and children asylum and safe haven seekers

Immigration Judge D’Angelo finds ‘Honduran women without a male family member’ to be a cognizable PSG. – In Re G-R- and R-G-

On December 5, 2017, in an exceptionally detailed and well-reasoned decision, Judge D’Angelo of the Boston Immigration Court granted asylum to a female asylum applicant and her daughter who were put into proceedings at the border in 2014. 

Citing Matter of Acosta, Matter of M-E-V-G, Matter of W-G-R and Matter of A-R-C-G-, Judge D’Angelo found the applicants had experienced gender related persecution based on their membership in a PSG comprised of ‘Honduran women without a male family member,” and that “[w]here government officials fail to investigate, prosecute, or adjudicate gender-based crimes, the Court finds that the Honduran government has been unable or unwilling to control the persecution of the Respondent and other women without a male family figure.” See Cece v. Holder, 733 F.3d 662 (7th Cir. 2013)(young, Albanian women who live alone)  By relying heavily on Acosta, M-E-V-G-, and W-G-R-, the decision establishes a basis independent from A-R-C-G- and should therefore survive Matter of A-B.

Respondent’s were represented by John Willshire Carrera(HLS/GBLS), Evelyn Zheng (HLS18) and Reid Kurtz (NUSL19) of the Harvard Immigration Clinical Program and Greater Boston Legal Services.

John Willshire Carrera and Nancy Kelly – Harvard Immigration and Refugee Program of HLS/Greater Boston Legal Services. 

Garcia Ramos decision by Immigration Judge Mathew D'Angelo