February 5, 2014 4th Circuit published opinion

Chen and Li v Holder

Chen and Li sought asylum on the basis of China’s one child policy and persecution of Christians. The immigration judge and appeals board denied their application. The panel reversed and remanded as to the one child policy and affirmed as to the religion claim. The panel held that Chena and Li submitted competent evidence that forced sterilization is practiced in their home province namely a 2009 government report and a screenshot form a message board maintained by the family planning department in their province. The panel noted that the board failed to even mention this evidence let alone explain why an earlier contradictory government report should be relied upon. The panel also noted its agreement with the 7th Circuit that remand for proper consideration is the correct course. As to the religion claim, the panel held that the evidence presented did not compel the conclusion that persecution is a reasonable probability as the record demonstrated persecution varies by region, there was no evidence of persecution in Chena and Li’s home province and many Christians are able to discretely practice their religion without government interference.

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