R. R. D. v. Holder, No. 13-2141 (7th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
While R. was an investigator for Mexico’s Federal Agency of Investigation, he arrested hundreds of suspects and repeatedly testified against drug traffickers. Drug organizations tried to kill him. The Agency repeatedly transferred him, but threats soon resumed. He was wounded twice while on duty and eluded capture several times. Assassins shot at him, missed, and wounded his father. He quit the Agency, opened an office-supply business, and tried to conceal his former job. Strangers continued looking for him. He sought asylum in the U.S., contending that he had been persecuted as a member of the social group of honest police officers. The IJ denied the application. The Board of Immigration Appeals agreed, distinguishing between honest police and effective honest police, reasoning that only if criminal organizations target all honest officers would R. be entitled to asylum, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(42)(A). The Seventh Circuit vacated. The law calls for assessments of causation and risk. That R. is at more risk than that most “honest police” is a poor reason to disqualify him. The Board did not consider whether Mexico’s more-than-400,000 officers are willing and able to protect former colleagues. Nothing R. can do will erase his employment history. The court questioned why DHS wants to remove R. He appears to have led an exemplary life in the U.S. since entering (lawfully) and applying for asylum.