Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Page 4


Ninth Circuit:

Woman Who Professes Fear of Death in Guatemala Properly Denied Sanctuary


By a MetNews Staff Writer


The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday denied relief to a woman who seeks asylum on the ground that she fears being slain or tortured if she returns to her native Guatemala.

A three-judge panel denied the petition of Alba Zuccly Aguilar Guzman to review the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) which affirmed the decision of an immigration judge (“IJ”) to reject her application to remain in the United States pursuant to the Convention Against Torture.

The woman testified that her husband had been mayor of Santa Ana Huista, a municipality in the northwest area of the Republic of Guatemala, and had been murdered based on his backing of a political candidate. She swore that she would anticipate a similar fate if she returned.

Her testimony, the IJ found, was unworthy of belief because when she arrived in the United States, she declared under oath that she was simply here to work and had no fears of returning home.

A memorandum opinion declares:

“…Guzman attempted to explain away her initial sworn statement by claiming that she was bullied by immigration officials into downplaying her fears. Nevertheless, after hearing testimony from both Guzman and the officials who interviewed her at the border, the IJ concluded that Guzman failed to provide a reasonable explanation for the discrepancy between her sworn statement and her later testimony. Nothing in the record compels the conclusion that this finding was incorrect.”

The case is Guzman v. Sessions, No. 11-73819.


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