Supreme Court Rules Asylum Applicants Bear Burden of Proof

The Supreme Court reversed the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Monday, finding immigration judges do not have to explicitly state that an asylum seeker’s story is not credible when finding against him or her.

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion in the case.

“The Ninth Circuit has long applied a special rule in immigration disputes,” Gorsuch wrote. “The rule provides that, in the absence of an explicit adverse credibility determination by an immigration judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals, a reviewing court must treat a petitioning alien’s testimony as credible and true.”

In the involved case, Chinese national Ming Dai claimed he was beaten and arrested in 2009 for trying to prevent Chinese authorities from aborting his second child under the previous one-child policy. Dai testified that when he tried to stop his wife’s abduction, police broke his ribs, dislocated his shoulder and threw him in jail for ten days. Dai noted that he lost his job, his wife was demoted and his daughter was denied admission to good schools, the Epoch Times reports.

He came to the U.S. on a tourist visa and sought asylum shortly after his arrival.

Gorsuch wrote that the burden rested on Dai to prove that he was a “refugee,” someone “unable or unwilling” to return to his home country because of “persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution…for failure or refusal to undergo [involuntary sterilization] or for other resistance to a coercive population control program.”

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