Moreno Garcia v. Attorney Gen'l of U.S., No. 10-1311 (3d Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Claudia illegally entered the U.S. in 1998 or 1999; her younger sister, Silvia illegally entered in 2005. About a year later, DHS charged each with removability under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(6)(A)(i). Both sisters conceded removability but applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and CAT protection, claiming that if they are returned to Guatemala, they will be persecuted by a violent gang the government allegedly cannot control. Silvia had been in witness protection for assisting the government's efforts against the gang and a cousin who was involved with the gang. An immigration judge rejected the petitions and the BIA affirmed. The Third Circuit denied Claudia's appeal, but remanded Silvia's case for a determination of whether the harm she might face rises to the level of persecution and whether she had been safely resettled in Mexico. Silvia shares a common, immutable characteristic with other civilian witnesses who have the shared experience of assisting law enforcement against violent gangs that threaten communities in Central America.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on January 13, 2012.