Wednesday, November 13, 2013

INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca case brief

INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca case brief summary
480 U.S. 421 (1987)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Respondent alien appealed the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which held that the same standard did not apply in determining the withholding of deportation pursuant to § 243(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C.S. § 1252(h), as governed applications for asylum under § 208(a) of the Refugee Act of 1980, 8 U.S.C.S. § 1158(a).

CASE FACTS
Respondent alien brought an action against petitioner government, requesting the withholding of deportation pursuant to § 243(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Act), 8 U.S.C.S. § 1252(h), and asylum as a refugee pursuant to § 208(a) of the Refugee Act of 1980, 8 U.S.C.S. § 1158(a). Petitioner argued that § 243(h), which required an alien to show that he was more likely than not to be subject to persecution, was the same standard that governed applications for asylum under § 208(a).


DISCUSSION

  • The lower court rejected petitioner's contention, and the Court affirmed holding that Congress used different, broader language to define the term "refugee," as used in § 208(a), than it used to describe the class of aliens who had a right to withholding of deportation under § 243(h). 
  • Thus, the immigration judge and the Board of Immigration Affairs erred in applying the "more likely than not" objective standard of proof from § 243(h) to respondent's § 208(a) asylum claim and should have instead applied the more generous, subjective "well founded fear" standard.
CONCLUSION

The Court affirmed and held that different standards applied when withholding an alien's deportation under the Immigration and Nationality Act and governing applications for asylum under the Refugee Act of 1980.

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