Boika v. Holder, No. 11-3655 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Boika, a Belarusian citizen, entered the U.S. legally in 2006, but overstayed. At her removal proceedings, she applied for asylum under 8 U.S.C. 1158, withholding of removal under 8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3), and relief pursuant to the Convention Against Torture. Her husband, Zhits, made parallel claims, derivative from Boika’s claims based on their marital status, 8 U.S.C. 1158(b)(3)(A). Boika claimed that she could establish a well‐founded fear of future persecution upon return to Belarus, based on past persecution for her political involvement in Belarus, between2004 and 2006. An immigration judge denied her asylum application based on an adverse credibility finding. The Board of Immigration Appeals affirmed. The Seventh Circuit denied review. Boika moved to reopen based on materially changed country conditions, 8 U.S.C. 1229a(c)(7)(C)(ii), claiming that after Belarusian President Lukashenko’s election in 2010,the Belarusian government’s severe crackdown on political opposition resulted in widespread human rights abuses. She submitted new corroborating evidence about her activity in the Belarusian opposition movement while she has been in the U.S. The Board denied Boika’s motion. The Seventh Circuit granted their petition and remanded.