Meilina Krisnawati v. U.S. Attorney General

Case: 19-10613 Date Filed: 03/26/2020 Page: 1 of 14 [DO NOT PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 19-10613 Non-Argument Calendar ________________________ Agency No. A098-858-821 MEILINA KRISNAWATI, Petitioner, versus U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Respondent. ________________________ Petition for Review of a Decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals ________________________ (March 26, 2020) Before JILL PRYOR, BRANCH and FAY, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: Meilina Krisnawati, a native and citizen of Indonesia, petitions for review of the Board of Immigration Appeals’ (“BIA”) order denying her motion to reopen her Case: 19-10613 Date Filed: 03/26/2020 Page: 2 of 14 removal proceedings. Krisnawati argues, in part, that the BIA failed to give reasoned consideration to, or make adequate findings regarding, her argument that reopening was warranted based on evidence of changed country conditions for Christians in Indonesia. Because the BIA made only conclusory statements without addressing any of Krisnawati’s new evidence and misstated the contents of the record, we conclude that it failed to give reasoned consideration to the evidence that conditions had changed for Christians in Indonesia. We therefore grant the petition, vacate the BIA’s order, and remand for further proceedings. I. BACKGROUND We divide our discussion of the factual background into two parts. We first discuss Krisnawati’s entrance into the United States and the denial of her initial application for asylum and withholding of removal. Second, we discuss her motion to reopen and the BIA’s decision denying it. A. Entrance to the United States and Application for Asylum Krisnawati entered the United States in June 2004 as a non-immigrant visitor with authorization to remain in the country until December of that year. After her authorization expired, Krisnawati remained in the United States and in June 2005 filed an application for asylum and withholding of removal, alleging a fear of persecution based on her religious beliefs. Krisnawati admitted that neither she nor her family members had been harmed in the past. But, as a Christian, she feared 2 Case: 19-10613 Date Filed: 03/26/2020 Page: 3 of 14 persecution from Muslim fundamentalists if she returned to Indonesia and that the Indonesian government would be unable and unwilling to protect her due to her religion. In support of her application, Krisnawati submitted an affidavit that discussed her Christian faith, including her active role in Indonesia’s Christian community, and how the anti-Christian movement in Indonesia led her to seek asylum in the United States. In 2005, the Department of Homeland Security served Krisnawati with a notice to appear (“NTA”), charging that she was removable because she remained in the United States longer than authorized. See 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(B). After Krisnawati admitted the factual allegations in the NTA, the Immigration Judge (“IJ”) found her removable as charged. The IJ held a hearing in January 2007 to determine whether Krisnawati was eligible for asylum or withholding of removal. In her testimony at the hearing, Krisnawati described how she fled Indonesia because she feared persecution as a result of practicing her religion. In ...

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