Saturday, May 1, 2010

Seventh Circuit: Man Wins Asylum Appeal Because BIA Failed to Adequately Consider Hardships and Persecution of Chinese Citizens who Violate "One-Child Policy"

"Man Wins Asylum Review on China's 1-Child Policy"
"The 7th Circuit ordered immigration officials to reconsider the asylum claims of a Chinese man whose mother and aunt were forcibly sterilized for defying China's strict population control laws.

The federal appeals court in Chicago called the Board of Immigration Appeals' review "woefully inadequate," saying it failed to consider the "cumulative significance" of the hardships and persecution leveled against Chinese citizens who resist the government's one-child policy.

Shi Chen was the fifth child born to a rural family of subsistence farmers. He is one of millions of members of a disenfranchised subculture in China known as the hei haiz, those born illegally and so not allowed to be listed as official members of their families. The hei haiz are denied state-provided schooling, heath care, food allowances and many of the other rights of Chinese citizenship, including in many cases the right to marry and have a family, hold a job and own property, according to the ruling.

As a penalty for Chen's birth, the state sterilized his mother against her will. Before that, his aunt was forced to abort an illegal pregnancy in its ninth month and was also sterilized.

Chen's parents paid large sums to keep him school until he was 17, when he left China for the United States and applied for asylum.

He argued that he would be persecuted if returned to China because of his family's resistance to the one-child policy and his membership "in social groups that include his family and the hei haizi."

An immigration judge denied Chen's petition, and the appeals board affirmed, rejecting Chen's claim that he had a well-founded fear of future persecution and that he would be targeted for sterilization himself.

Chen appealed to the 7th Circuit, which found that the board had given his claims an "incomplete" review and had made too much of the fact that he was able to obtain a passport and leave China...

The panel vacated the BIA's ruling and remanded."
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