November 5, 2012 4th Circuit published opinion

Singh v Holder

Singh illegally entered the United States through Mexico. He contested removal arguing he had been tortured based on his political views and would face torture if returned to India. The immigration judge used and interpreter at the hearing. The judge found Singh’s account was not credible because he could not explain why the police who wanted to arrest his father would allow themselves to be bribed to release Singh and Singh was unable to identify the political views which would lead to his further persecution. The board affirmed and the panel also affirmed. It adopted the plain reading of the REAL ID act which allows an adverse credibility determination even if the falsehoods giving rise to the determination have nothing to do with the heart of the claim. Applying this standard, the panel held that the inherent incredibility noted by the judge, the lack of a political opinion and failure to provide corroboration form expected witnesses such as the family embers he stayed with openly for several months after the torture were substantial evidence to affirm the determination. It also held that Singh provided no evidence that he would be subjected to any mistreatment let alone persecution if he returned to his home. Finally, the panel held that uninterpereted portions of Singh’s testimony were left untranslated in the transcript for good reasons and any errors by the interpreter were harmless given the record as a whole.

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