First Circuit Denies Appeal of Chinese Woman on Grounds of Religious Persecution

In the case of Jin Weng vs Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General, the First Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal of a Chinese woman, Jin Weng, who fought deportation to China on the grounds of religious persecution.  Chief Judge Sandra L. Lynch wrote the opinion, which begins as follows:

Jin Weng, a native and citizen of China, petitions for review of a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirming an immigration judge’s (IJ) decision denying her petition for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). The IJ and BIA rejected Weng’s claim that she has faced and will likely face religious persecution in China as an adherent of Zun Wang, a banned religion in China. The IJ found Weng was not credible because her testimony was inconsistent with her earlier sworn testimony, determining particularly that, in her earlier statements, she did not mention religion but said she was fleeing China and feared returning there because of poverty and other nonreligious reasons.

The IJ did not explicitly separate his findings on the asylum claims about past persecution and likely future persecution. But we and the BIA have inferred from his reasoning that he found that Weng was not credible about the past persecution she claimed to have suffered in China or her alleged fear of future persecution in China, and that she was not credible in her assertion that she left China and fears returning because of religious persecution. Although the IJ discussed some but not all of the documentary evidence Weng introduced to support her claim of past religious persecution, the remaining evidence would not compel a factfinder to conclude that Weng had suffered past religious persecution or feared future persecution or that she was credible about her reasons for leaving China. We deny the petition for review.

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