Block on Trump's Asylum Ban Upheld by Supreme Court
Another circuit court has upheld an IJ and Board of Immigration Appeals decision to deny review of a Chinese citizen's petition for asylum. This Sixth Circuit decision was based on issues of credibility and inconsistencies in the petitioner's testimony before the Immigration Judge.
This is the second Christianity-asylum case involving a Chinese citizen in recent history to reach a circuit court. It will unlikely be the last.
Background of Qing Zhang
Chinese citizen Qing Zheng illegally entered into the United States via the Mexican border in 2014 with her son, Yu Fan Chen. During her credible fear interview, Zheng claimed that she was fearful that the Communist Party would persecute her for practicing Christianity. The DHS began removal proceedings and Zheng petitioned for asylum, withholding, and for protection under the Convention Against Torture. The IJ determined that Zheng lacked credibility and weighed the evidence against her. The BIA affirmed the decision of the IJ. Eventually the circuit would, too.
The problem was that Zheng's testimony and other presented evidence was bullet riddled with inconsistencies. The IJ listened to her testimony and found that Zheng didn't know the first thing about Christianity. Her credibility was further damaged when the court took into account that she had filed three fraudulent visas in 2012 and 2013. These adverse credibility findings were all the IJ needed (and the circuit needed to eventually affirm) to remove Zheng back to China.
Similar Case at the Tenth Circuit
We recently wrote a piece with similar themes involving Chinese citizen Dao Kai He who also applied for asylum under the CAT. He too claimed that China would torture him for his religious beliefs and practices. The problem was that there were several glaring inconsistencies in his stories, and his attempts to reconcile the inconsistencies just did not hold water under reasonable scrutiny.