The BIA found that respondent may be eligible for withholding of removal, and (remanded) returned the case to the Immigration Court for their review.
The Executive Office of Immigration Review, Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) decided on June 7, 2021 on the untimely filing of an asylum application and how “changed circumstances” affect the application. In addition, BIA ruled on the respondent’s (person the government is seeking to deport) withholding of removal claim.
Respondent was a native and citizen of the People’s Republic of China. He entered the United States on January 6, 2012. He had a nonimmigrant B-2 visa, and was authorized to remain in the United States until July 5, 2012. He stayed in the country after that date, without authorization. He filed an application for asylum and withholding of removal on November 12, 2013.
Respondent alleged in his application that he suffered past persecution and feared future harm in China for religious reasons. Later, the United States government placed him in removal (deportation) proceedings. Respondent testified in these proceedings that he faced religious persecution in China. The police caught him publicizing Christian materials, and arrested and detained him twice. He endured physical abuse during these detentions.
After he entered the United States, he emailed Christian materials to people in China. His friends in China told him that the police had discovered one of his emails, and were trying to find him. The police told his wife to inform them when he returned to China.
Asylum applications must be filed within one year of entering the United States. There is an exception if the alien demonstrates the existence of changed circumstances which greatly affect the applicant’s ability for asylum. The applicant’s circumstances must be different in a significant way, and these circumstances must greatly affect the applicant’s eligibility for asylum.
The BIA found that respondent was not eligible for the exception. The police were interested in him before he left China. His continuing promotion of Christian materials did not amount to changed circumstances. It was merely a continuation of his activities. Therefore, his asylum claim was denied.
The BIA found that respondent may be eligible for withholding of removal, and (remanded) returned the case to the Immigration Court for their review. In withholding of removal, the party has to demonstrate past persecution and the clear probability of future prosecution in the native country. The BIA found that future fact-finding was necessary to make this determination.