Old Dominion University Immigration & Fourth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Essay

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1. Describe how the Fourth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled on when one of the following types of harm rises to the level of “persecution” (choose one): Physical Harm, Verbal Threats, Economic Harm. (500 words limit) 2. Read 8 C.F.R. § 208.13(b)(1) and compare it with the Attorney General’s opinion in Matter of A-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 316, 345 (A.G. 2018) where he states “When an applicant has suffered personal harm at the hands of only a few specific individuals, internal relocation would seem more reasonable than if the applicant were persecuted broadly, by her country’s government.” Do you feel that the Attorney General’s opinion is consistent with the federal regulation? Why or why not? (500 words limit) 3. Describe the similarities and differences between asylum and withholding of removal. Then answer which one is preferable and why. (500) 4. On page 646, Dree K. Callopy notes there are two competing schools of thought regarding how much detail to include in an applicant’s sworn statement included in their asylum application. Describe the two schools of thought and which one you would belong to if you were preparing an asylum application and why. (700 words limit)
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According to the Fourth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, persecution comprises threat
of death, cruelty or injury to an individual’s freedom on the reason of one of the listed grounds in
the refugee description. It may comprise actions less harmful than threats to life or liberty, but
the actions ought to rise above the degree of simple harassment to constitute persecution
(Stephenson & Ryan, 2013). This court hears appeals from various federal district courts,
including North and South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, as well as from federal
administrative agencies. The Fourth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has based its economic
persecution rulings on different grounds and application of various standards.
In 2010, the Fourth Circuit claimed political opinion as the base upon which economic
persecution was based in Mirisawo v. Holder, 599 F.3d 391. The petitioner in the case was
Mirisawo and had not been persecuted in Zimbabwe. She filed this petition after the Board of
Immigration Appeals’ judgment confirming an immigration judge’s removal directive, ordering
Mirisawo to be removed from the U.S to Zimbabwe. However, Mirisawo’s brother, sister and
daughter were members of the chief opposition political party. In 2002, Mirisawo’s brother was
severely beaten for being a vigorous member of the opposition party. Mirisawo had been
employed in the U.S on a G5 visa. As a result of the beating, the petitioner stayed with her sister
after entering Zimbabwe to avoid being linked with her brother. During this time, Mirisawo
bought a house for her brother and her kids. In 2005, Mirisawo was again working in the U.S
when the government demolished three rooms out of the four. The purported reason for the
demolition was to clean out slums. On its side, the Fourth Circuit explained that it was vastly
believed that the demolition targeted to destroy homes in regions where voluminous individuals
voted for the opposition party in the past election.
Mirisawo appealed previous economic persecution grounded on imputed political opinion
by demolishing the bigger part of the house she had purchased. However, the Fourth Circuit
resolved that Mirisawo did not prove that the demolition of her house was an intended and severe
denial of an elementary necessity of life. Additionally, the Fourth Circuit noted that Mirisawo
had never stayed in the house. The court also said that, at the time the house was being
demolished, her ability to earn a living while working as a housekeeper in the United States was
not affected. Furthermore, the Fourth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals found that Mirisawo was
probable to get a similar work if she went back to Zimbabwe. The court added that, while the
demolition of Mirisawo’s house caused an investment loss, she was not relying on that particular
investment for her current or future income. The Fourth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
rejected Mirisawo’s claims of future persecution. Her future persecution claims grounded on the
fear that her family's political views would be imputed were overruled for one reason. Her family
members had not been persecuted since her brother, who still lived in Zimbabwe without further
occurrence, was assaulted in 2002.
According to 8 C.F.R. § 208.13(b) (1), an individual may stand as a refugee in the United
States either because they have undergone previous persecution or because they have a

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justifiable fear of imminent persecution. They shall be found to be a refugee based on past
persecution if the applicant can prove that they suffered past persecution in the applicant’s native
nation or, if nationless, in their country of previous habitual dwelling, and is incapable to go back
or avail themselves of the protection of, that nation because of such persecution. The applicant’s
persecution could have resulted from race, faith, nationality, political view, or membership of a
specific social group. Any applicant found to have proved past persecution is supposed to have a
justifiable distress of persecution based on the original claim. However, that belief may be
refuted if an asylum executive or an immigration judge considers one of the findings defined in
paragraph (b) (1) (i). According to (b) (1) (i), if asylum seeker’s fear of imminent persecution is
unconnected to the previous persecution, the seeker stand the liability of establishing and proving
that the fear is justifiable or well-founded. In Matter of A-B-, 27 I&N Dec. 316, 345 (A.G.
2018), the Attorney General’s opinion is that various regulations must be considered before
granting an individual asylum. The Attorney General’s view is that when an individual
experiences personal harm at the hands of only a few specific people, internal relocation seems
more reasonable than if the person were persecuted vastly by her country’s government.
I feel that the Attorney General’s opinion is consistent with the federal regulation.
According to 8 C.F.R. § 208.13(b) (1), an individual qualifies to be a refugee because they have
underwent past persecution or they have a justifiable distress of future prosecution. The applicant
must first establish that they suffered past persecution, and the claims must be well-founded. On
some occasions, the alien’s home nation may represent an alternative to internal relocation and
evade future persecution. According to the Attorney General’s opinion, this option should b...

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