via HIRC blog
by Mary Hewey
Recently, our HIRC at GBLS team, including Co-Managing Directors Nancy Kelly and John Willshire-Carrera and former Albert M. Sacks Clinical Teaching & Advocacy Fellow Maggie Morgan, had a victory in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Their client, a woman from Honduras, had previously filed a motion to reopen, which was denied by an Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). In the denial, the BIA claimed that there was no material change in country conditions in Honduras since 2005, when their client had been ordered removed in absentia. HIRC filed an appeal in 2017, arguing that the BIA erred by ignoring the 2009 coup, which had greatly worsened gender-related violence and government protections for women. In their decision, the Fifth Circuit pointed to this error, stating:
“The BIA did not even mention the 2009 coup in its opinion finding that Inestroza-Antonelli had failed to establish changed country conditions. And, other than a conclusory statement that it had “considered [Inestroza Antonelli’s] arguments,” there is no indication that the BIA meaningfully evaluated her evidence of institutional changes following the coup.”
You can read the full decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals here.