Russell Abrutyn

Abrutyn Law PLLC

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Berkley, MI 48072

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sixth Circuit on torture-bar to relief

Abdallahi v. Holder, No. 11-3920 (6th Cir. July 31, 2012) (published)

This case involved multiple issues concerning whether an adjustment of status applicant who served as a gendarme for the Mauritanian military was inadmissible under 212(a)(2)(E)(iii).

1. Although there is no liberty interest in discretionary relief, there is a due process right to a full and fair hearing.

2. Transferring the case to a new IJ was not a due process violation because the new IJ followed the regulations.

3.  No prejudice resulting from transferring the case to the new IJ between the close of the record and the issuance of the decision.

4.  The alien participated in acts of torture under the Negusie (SCt) and Diaz-Zanatta (6th) standards, which require (1) a nexus between the alien's actions and the torture of another and (2) some level of contemporaneous knowledge that the torture was being conducted.  The evidence clearly established this.  The court rejected his involuntariness defense because it was not supported by the record.

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