Ibrahim Raimi v. William Barr

NOT FOR PUBLICATION FILED UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS JUL 30 2020 MOLLY C. DWYER, CLERK U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT IBRAHIM RAIMI, No. 18-71708 Petitioner, Agency No. A209-869-999 v. MEMORANDUM* WILLIAM P. BARR, Attorney General, Respondent. On Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals Argued and Submitted July 6, 2020 Portland, Oregon Before: BENNETT and MILLER, Circuit Judges, and PEARSON,** District Judge. Ibrahim Raimi, a native and citizen of Ghana, petitions for review of an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals upholding an immigration judge’s denial of his applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). We have jurisdiction under 8 U.S.C. * This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by Ninth Circuit Rule 36-3. ** The Honorable Benita Y. Pearson, United States District Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, sitting by designation. § 1252(a)(1). We grant the petition and remand. 1. Raimi seeks asylum and withholding of removal because he fears persecution on account of his sexual orientation. The Board upheld the immigration judge’s adverse credibility finding, on the basis that Raimi did not mention his sexual orientation during his border interview and discussed only his religion. Substantial evidence does not support the Board’s determination. When viewed “in light of the ‘totality of the circumstances, and all relevant factors,’” Raimi’s testimony was not inconsistent. Shrestha v. Holder, 590 F.3d 1034, 1043 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(iii)). In his border interview, Raimi was asked why he traveled under a different name and why he came to the United States. In response, Raimi stated that he is a Christian and that he understood the United States to be a “good” place and a “Christian country.” When asked why he left Ghana, Raimi said that he was chased out of his house by a Muslim group. When asked whether he feared returning to Ghana, Raimi said that he did. Viewed in context, Raimi’s testimony at his border interview is not inconsistent with later testimony given at his credible-fear hearing, during which he elaborated on the basis for his fear of persecution. During the border interview, Raimi answered the questions posed to him, none of which called for him to discuss his sexual orientation. When asked during his credible-fear interview about 2 his fear of the Muslim group, Raimi explained that the group targeted gay people and that he was specifically targeted by them. In identifying an inconsistency in Raimi’s testimony, the Board appears to have assumed that the group must have been motivated by either anti-Christian or anti-gay animus, overlooking the possibility that both motives might have been present. Either way, the Board was required to consider Raimi’s “explanation for a perceived inconsistency, and other record evidence that sheds light on whether there is in fact an inconsistency at all.” Shrestha, 590 F.3d at 1044 (citation omitted); see Soto-Olarte v. Holder, 555 F.3d 1089, 1091 ...

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