Federal appeals court rules two-sentence immigration decision insufficient
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Federal appeals court rules two-sentence immigration decision insufficient

The US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has ruled that an immigration judge’s two-sentence decision denying asylum to an Ecuadorean man was insufficient.

The case was brought by Jorge Luis Valarezo-Tirado for review of an Immigration Judge’s reinstatement of his prior order of removal. The Immigration Judge initially affirmed a Department of Homeland Security asylum officer’s determination that Valarezo-Tirado did not have a reasonable fear of torture or persecution as required under the Convention against Torture for asylum and withholding removal.

Valarezo-Tirado claimed that a judge must take another look at his petition because the 13-word ruling failed to cite any evidence or offer a reasoned explanation of why his fear of persecution in his home country did not entitle him to relief.

Valarezo-Tirado entered the US illegally in 2017 and was ordered deportation in early 2020. The 3rd Circuit agreed that the judge’s conclusion was insufficient to deny relief and lacked specific reasons for her conclusions.

Circuit Judge Theodore McKee recognized that the Immigration Judge has a tremendous caseload and very crowded dockets, but stated that “we will not permit crowded dockets or a backlog of cases to excuse an Immigration Judge or the BIA from providing a meaningful explanation of why someone has been denied relief under the asylum laws.” The Court found that it could not allow incredibly difficult logistics to give license to Immigration Judges to skirt their responsibilities.

The court remanded the case to the judge to reconsider Valarezo-Tirados’s petition.