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Editor's Comments of the Day
In Hernandez-Montiel v. INS, No. 98-70582 (9th Cir. August 24, 2000), the court ruled that as a matter of law gay men with sexual
identities in Mexico constitute a "particular social group." The court found that Petitioner's having been raped twice by
police constituted past persecution and so granted the application for withholding and remanded to the Attorney General for
the exercise of her discretion to grant asylum. Finding sexual orientation can be the basis of establishing a "particular
social group" for asylum purposes is not new. In Toboso-Alsonso, 20 I & N Dec. 810 (BIA 1990), a Cuban man was granted
asylum after showing that that country's government had registered and tracked gay men for investigation over the years.
In Matter of Tenorio No. A72-0930558 (BIA 1999) the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) upheld a grant of asylum to a gay
Brazilian man who had been beaten and stabbed by a group of people using anti-gay epithets. In this case the 9th Circuit
ruled the BIA erred in defining the social group as "homosexual males who dress as females." The court stated that the
case was "about sexual identity, not fashion," and as a matter of law the social group was "gay men with female sexual
identities." The court then found the evidence "susceptible of no other conclusion" then that the Petitioner "was
persecuted on account of his membership in the 'particular social group.'"
Cases of the Day
Gay Men with Female Sexual Identities are a "Particular Social Group"
In Hernandez-Montiel v. INS, No. 98-70582 (9th Cir. August 24, 2000), the court ruled that as a matter of law gay men with
sexual identities in Mexico constitute a "particular social group." The court found that Petitioner's having been raped
twice by police constituted past persecution and so granted the application for withholding and remanded to the Attorney
General for the exercise of her discretion to grant asylum.
Immigration News of the Day
Fake Relatives Used to Free Jailed Migrants
According to The Ottawa Citizen, people-smuggling rings are recruiting Chinese-Canadians to pose as long-lost relatives of
illegal migrants in order to get them released from jail. Police believe the snakeheads are using a section of the Canadian
Immigration Act that allows family members to post bonds to get the Chinese migrants released so they can start working in
New York sweatshops to pay off their heavy debts.
Giving a Ship the Slip; Temptation Sometimes Proves Too Much for Foreign Crewmen
The Times-Picayune reports that in the fiscal year that ended October 1999, the Border Patrol reported that 219 crewmen had
deserted their ships in southeast Louisiana and immigration officials were able to apprehend only 18 of last year's
deserters. Border Patrol agents believe an underground network with ties to organized crime could be at work, but admit
they have little direct evidence.
ILW.COM Highlights of the Day
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ILW.COM Chats and Discussions of the Day
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September. On Wednesday, September 13, 2000, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern
(New York) time Barry Lieber, Esq. will participate in ILW.COM's first Spanish chat session.
On Thursday September 21, 2000, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (New York) time Catherine Kerr, Esq., will answer questions on Canadian
immigration law. Mark your calendars!