Cases & Deals

Factual findings of the IJ and the BIA are successfully challenged

Client(s) Client K, T and L

Our clients are citizens of Tanzania. They arrived in this country in 2001 to attend an international boy scout jamboree. When they left the jamboree early, the "Tanzanian Boy Scouts" became the subject of widespread press coverage, including vicious articles in the Tanzanian press that indicated that the Boy Scouts' life would be in danger if they returned to Tanzania. Fearful, they applied for asylum.

Jones Day began to represent the Boy Scouts in 2008. Before our representation began, the immigration judge had denied the asylum petitions, basing the decision on both procedural bars and on the merits of the claims. After extensive briefing before the Board of Immigration Appeals, the BIA affirmed. Although the BIA concluded that the IJ was in error in finding the asylum petitions untimely, the BIA held that our clients had not prevailed on the merits of the asylum claims.

We appealed this decision to the Sixth Circuit. The standard of review is daunting -- we were essentially challenging the factual findings of the IJ and the BIA, and such findings are conclusive unless any reasonable adjudicator would be compelled to conclude to the contrary. Fortunately, following briefing and oral argument, we convinced the Court that the BIA's reasoning was unsound, and that credible, uncontroverted evidence supported the claims for asylum. The Court therefore remanded the asylum proceedings to the BIA for further proceedings consistent with the Sixth Circuit's opinion.

Although the Sixth Circuit did not outright direct the grant of asylum, we are hopeful that asylum will follow before too long.

Kiegemwe, et al. v. Holder, 09-3816, 09-3817, 09-3818.