Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

CA1 on BIA’s abuse of discretion: Aponte v. Holder (Aponte II)

"Here the BIA simply stated that Aponte's submissions did not demonstrate prima facie eligibility.  It made no findings, relied on no case law, and engaged in no analysis.  Moreover, it offered up no rationale for the decision it reached (e.g., Aponte did not demonstrate that she is a member of a legally cognizable social group, or Aponte cannot prove that it is more likely than not that she will be tortured).  While we suspect the BIA's compact decision was a direct result of Aponte's own less than thorough request for relief, and we are not suggesting that the BIA should have dedicated pages upon pages to hashing out its merits, we cannot turn a blind eye to the inadequacy of the decision.   … [W]e conclude that the BIA abused its discretion when it decided that Aponte failed to make out a prima facie case for asylum, withholding, and CAT protection, and we set aside the decision