Immigration – Asylum
The BIA improperly denied asylum to an Arab from the West Bank who was persecuted for refusing to join the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“Like Martinez-Buendia, Jabr did not refuse to cooperate with the PIJ because joining them was against the law, see Hernandez-Baena v. Gonzales, 417 F.3d 720, 723 (7th Cir. 2005), or because he was afraid of retaliation by the government, see Elias-Zacarias, 502 U.S. at 480. He refused because he was politically opposed to the PIJ, and he directly communicated that disagreement to them. See Martinez-Buendia, 616 F.3d at 718. The fact that Jabr did not hold a ‘notable’ political position of leadership within the Fatah movement—an assertion put forth by the IJ—is of no moment. We have never held that a petitioner must occupy a leadership position within his political or social group in order to receive asylum protection. All the petitioner needs to show is that his persecutor’s conduct was on account of an express or imputed political opinion, which Jabr has clearly demonstrated here.”
12-2593 Jabr v. Holder
Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration Appeals, Williams, J.