Thursday, May 31st, 2018

CA7 on Past Persecution, Moldova: Sirbu v. Holder

"Moldovan citizens Victor Sirbu and his wife Iulia Prodan applied for asylum in the United States, as well as for withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture.  Sirbu fears persecution by the Moldovan government based on his active and vocal opposition to the Communist Party. (Although the evidence indicates mistreatment of both Mr. Sirbu and Ms. Prodan for their anti-Communist political activities, Mr. Sirbu’s application is the lead one; Ms. Prodan’s application is derivative of his.) An immigration judge denied relief, finding that Sirbu’s evidence did not “compel a finding” of past persecution that could support asylum. The Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed the denial. Sirbu and Prodan have petitioned for review. Because the immigration judge and then the Board applied the wrong legal standard in deciding whether Sirbu had shown past persecution for his political activities, we grant the petition for review