21 August 2006

Is Rape A Form Of Legitimate Investigation?

Immigration judge injustice in asylum cases, a common place problem, has gotten so out of hand in a case involving a woman from Congo, ultimately reviewed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, that the Justice Department is losing the stomach to make the argument it prevailed upon.

In the case, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals held, at the urging of government immigration attorneys, that a woman who was repeated raped by jailers and investigators in a political witchhunt in Congo did not qualify for asylum because this was a "legitimate investigation." It did so even though it disagreed with the immigration judge's finding of fact that the woman was not credible, which were not supported by the record.

The immigration judge came up with multiple fanciful reasons for disbelieving the woman's testimony that had no basis whatsoever in the record of the proceeding before him, a common practice in asylum cases, which the 5th Circuit acknowledged. For example, he stated that she must be lying because she didn't visit her family before fleeing the country under cover of night with the help of a sympathetic person tied to the "investigation."

The Justice Department is now questioning whether it really wants to enshrine the legal principal established by the 5th Circuit that continual jail house rape by jailers can be a legitimate form of government investigation.

When the Justice Department has to back off its wins, instead, of being restrained in the first instance by administrative law judges, it becomes clear that the entire immigration asylum system is fouled up beyond all repair.

Hat Tip to How Appealing.

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