Dong v. Holder, No. 12-1091 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
This case required the First Circuit Court of Appeals to decide, for the first time, whether section 1101(a)(42)(B), a statute enacted to pave the way for asylum for victims of China's coercive population control policies, extends automatically to a spouse of a person forced to undergo an abortion. Petitioner, a Chinese national, petitioned for asylum, seeking to remain in the United States because of, among other things, his wife's forced abortion. Petitioner argued he was entitled to per se refugee status under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)(B) "as a person who has been forced to abort a pregnancy." The immigration judge rejected this argument, and the board of immigration appeals affirmed. The First Circuit Court denied Petitioner's petition for judicial review after joining several of its sister circuits in holding that, given the language of the relevant statute and the Attorney General's reasonable interpretation of it, the agency did not err in refusing to grant Petitioner's per se refugee status on the basis that the Chinese government had compelled his wife to undergo a forced abortion.