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Immigration Daily
Arthur L. Zabenko, Esq., Legal Editor
Nina Manchanda, Esq., Assistant Legal Editor
Marc Ellis, Esq., Chat Transcripts Editor
February 13, 2001
Contents:
Editor's Comments of the Day
Tip of the Day
Federal Register News of the Day
Cases of the Day
INS News of the Day
ILW.COM Featured Article of the Day
Immigration News of the Day
ILW.COM Chats and Discussions of the Day
Classifieds of the Day
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An Important disclaimer! The information provided on this page is not legal advice. Transmission of this information is not intended to create, and receipt by you does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Readers must not act upon any information without first seeking advice from a qualified attorney. Correspondence to editor@ilw.com. Letters may be edited and may be published and otherwise used in any medium.

Editor's Comments of the Day

The court in Abdulai v. Ashcroft, No. 00-3111 (3rd. Cir. Feb. 12, 2001), found that the Board of Immigration Appeals's ("BIA") rule that if it would be reasonable to expect corroboration of an asylum claim and an applicant fails to introduce the evidence or an explanation of why he or she cannot do so then the applicant may be found not to have met the burden of proof, but remanded the case to allow the BIA to explain in more detail why it had denied Petitioner's application.

The Nigerian applicant had a hearing before an Immigration Judge ("IJ") where he testified on his own behalf and offered documentary evidence describing conditions in Nigeria in support of his claim. The IJ did not expressly find the Petitioner's testimony lacked credibility, but concluded he had "not presented adequate evidence to demonstrate" eligibility for asylum. The Petitioner appealed to the BIA. Due to a change of government in Nigeria, the BIA remanded the case to allow both parties an opportunity to proffer any relevant evidence and for a new decision by the IJ. At a new hearing a witness for the Petitioner testified that any changes in the government were nothing more than cosmetic changes, and both Petitioner and the INS presented documentary evidence about the transfer of power. The IJ again denied the petition finding that Petitioner failed the meet the burden of proof and persuasion. The case was certified to the BIA. In a two page memorandum the BIA acknowleged that Petitioner had submitted numerous articles and reports regarding general country conditions, but noted a lack of documentary evidence corroborating the specifics of the testimony. The BIA agreed with the IJ that respondent had failed to sustain his burden of proof "given the complete lack of evidence corroborating the specifics" of the claim. Petitioner appealed to the Third Circuit.

The court found that due process requires that Petitioner have an individualized determination and that there be sufficient indicia that the BIA had made such a determination. For the court the heart of the matter was that while the BIA never found that Petitioner lacked credibility, it held that Petitioner had failed to meet the burden of proof by his failure to introduce evidence corroborating the specifics of his account. The BIA had relied on its earlier decision that an applicant need not provide corroborating evidence unless it would be reasonable to expect that applicant to do so, but that where it would be reasonable to expect such corroboration, then an applicant who fails to provide such evidence or an explanation may be found not to have met the burden of proof. The court concluded that the BIA's rule is not per se invalid, but that in this case the BIA's decision provided no way for the court to conduct its review. The BIA never explained what particular aspects of Petitioner's testimony it would have been reasonable to expect him to have corroborated, and without knowing this the court had no way to review whether it was reasonable to expect corroboration of the information, whether Petitioner provided the requisite corroboration or whether Petitioner explained adequately his inability to do so. The court vacated the BIA's order and remanded for further explanation of its reasoning. The BIA gets to set the rules, but then it has to play by those rules.


Tip of the Day

24-Hour Live Chat

ILW.COM now has a 24-Hour Live Chat Room which allows immigrants, attorneys, employers and others to talk to one another about immigration at all times. In order to enter the chat room, click on either the link for "24-Hour Live Chat" or "LOGON" located below the "Immigrat's Weekly" box on our home page. Once you have entered the page just choose a user name that you would like to use for the session, select "ILW.COM Public Chat Room" from the Room List and click "Enter Now."

ILW.COM's 24-Hour Chat Room has been designed to facilitate conversations among our site users. We have found that the maximum number of people congregate in the chat room area either before or after one of ILW's scheduled chat with a lawyer. Many people use this chat room as an opportunity to talk among themselves and share immigration information such as personal stories about the immigrant experience, immigration tips, and encouragement and advice in making it through the immigration process. For site users who are not able to participate in ILW's scheduled chat with a lawyer sessions due to time differences, the 24-Hour Chat Room allows you to participate in the chat experience at a time which is convenient for you.


Federal Register News of the Day

Computer Matching between the Department of Education and the Social Security Administration
A notice has been given of a computer matching program between the Department of Education and the Social Security Administration in order to assist the Secretary of Education to "verify immigration status and social security numbers provided by a student to an eligible institution."


Cases of the Day

INS Can Require Corroboration for Asylum Claims
The court in Abdulai v. Ashcroft, No. 00-3111 (3rd. Cir. Feb. 12, 2001), found that the Board of Immigration Appeals's ("BIA") rule that if it would be reasonable to expect corroboration of an asylum claim and an applicant fails to introduce the evidence or an explanation of why he or she cannot do so then the applicant may be found not to have met the burden of proof, but remanded the case to allow the BIA to explain in more detail why it had denied Petitioner's application.

Modified Sentence for Drug Possession Does Not Automatically Satisfy Clear, Unequivocal and Convincing Standard
In Sandoval v. INS, No. 99-3158 (7th Cir. Feb. 12, 2001), the court found that the INS did not carry its burden of proving by clear, unequivocal and convincing evidence that the alien had was convicted of possession of more than thirty grams of marijuana where his original conviction for possession of more than thirty grams had been modified by a state court judge.


INS News of the Day

INS Fiscal Year 2001 Monthly Statistical Report
The INS has issued its Fiscal Year 2001 Monthly Statistical Report for the first quarter ending December 2000, which includes specific information on inspections, Southwest border apprehensions, immigration benefits, naturalization benefits, removals, investigations and asylum.

INS Internet Website Statistics Report
The INS has released a report on the number of users visiting various parts of the INS website for the month of December and for the first quarter of FY2001.


ILW.COM Featured Article of the Day

Chapter 7 - TN Visas for Mexican Professionals and Consultants
In Chapter 7 of Handbook of Immigration Law Mark A. Ivener writes about TN Visas for Mexican Professionals and Consultants.


Immigration News of the Day

Cars Hiding More Smuggled Immigrants
The Los Angeles Times reports that government warnings about the dangers to migrants crossing through deserts and mountains appear to have had the unintended result of prompting some migrants to choose to be smuggled in car trunks or custom-built compartments such as converted gas tanks and false floors.


ILW.COM Chats and Discussions of the Day

Chat with Lynn Susser
Lynn Susser of the firm of Siskind, Susser, Haas & Devine will answers questions on all aspects of immigration law on Tuesday, February 13, 2001, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern (New York) time. Questions will be accepted starting 15 minutes before the chat.


Classifieds of the Day

ILW.COM carries classified ads for immigration related positions. $100 for single insertion, $250 for five consecutive insertions, payable in advance. Contact us for details. We will also carry for no charge announcements such as immigration related events. We reserve the right to refuse any ad and to make minor editorial and formatting changes. Send to editor@ilw.com.

HELP WANTED: CORPORATE IMMIGRATION PARALEGAL
Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, is the largest law firm in the country practicing exclusively in the area of immigration and nationality law. In order to meet the demands of our growing business, the firm is actively recruiting for experienced paralegals in its NEW YORK, NEW JERSEY and CHICAGO offices. The ideal candidate has business immigration experience or a human resources background dealing with immigration issues. Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills and be able to perform multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment. The firm offers superior salaries and exceptional growth opportunities. Please submit cover letter and resume to Diana Friedman, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, & Loewy, 515 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10022 or fax 212-758-7215.

HELP WANTED: LEGAL ASSISTANTS
Experienced Immigration Legal Assistants consider the best of all worlds: Live in Chattanooga, TN, a lovely mid-sized city. Work directly with the author of a national law book on immigration (Robert Divine) with well-organized practice tools. Serve national and local clients for the 10 offices of a growing regional full service law firm (Baker Donelson Bearman & Caldwell, P.C.). Requires detail oriented, highly organized individual with bachelor's degree and clear verbal and written skills. Spanish fluency a plus but not required. Salary dependent on experience. E-mail resume: rdivine@bdbc.com.


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