New Case Regarding Humanitarian Asylum

In a new Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) case, Matter of L-S-, ID 3742, 25 I&N Dec. 705 (BIA 2012), the Board remanded an asylum case to the immigration judge to determine whether the respondent should be granted humanitarian asylum based on past persecution.  The following is the case holding:

(1) An asylum applicant who has established past persecution but no longer has a well-founded fear of persecution may nevertheless warrant a discretionary grant of humanitarian asylum based not only on compelling reasons arising out of the severity of the past persecution, but also on a “reasonable possibility that he or she may suffer other serious harm” upon removal to his or her country under 8 C.F.R. § 1208.13(b)(1)(iii)(B) (2011).

(2) “Other serious harm”may bewholly unrelated to the applicant’s past harmand need not be inflicted on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, but the harm must be so serious that it equals the severity of persecution.

(3) In determining whether an applicant has established a “reasonable possibility” of “other serious harm,” adjudicators should focus on current conditions that could severely affect the applicant, such as civil strife and extreme economic deprivation, as well as on the potential for new physical or psychological harm that the applicant might suffer.

Please contact my immigration law office in San Francisco if you have questions regarding applying for political asylum.

For more information about me and my practice, please visit my website at www.alanoimmigrationlaw.com.

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