Application of the 'One Central Reason' Standard in Asylum and Withholding of Removal Cases [December 18, 2017] [open pdf - 377KB]
"Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), a non-U.S. national (alien) who fears persecution in his native country may be eligible for asylum or withholding of removal, two forms of relief from removal that potentially allow the alien to remain in the United States. Both applications require evidence linking the feared persecution to a statutorily protected ground. The asylum statute expressly requires the applicant to show that a protected ground is 'one central reason' for the persecution (for applications filed after May 1, 2005). But the INA is silent as to whether this standard extends to withholding of removal. Nevertheless, most courts have--either expressly or by implication--extended the 'one central reason' standard to withholding claims. In 'Barajas-Romero v. Lynch', however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that Congress did not intend for the 'one central reason' standard to apply to withholding of removal, creating a split among federal circuit courts regarding the extent and application of that standard."
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10046
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