Yusev v. Sessions, No. 16-1338 (7th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The Yusevs, who overstayed their non-immigrant visas and have lived in the U.S. since 2005, asserted that they had been members of the United Macedonian Organization Ilinden, a banned party devoted to the rights of ethnic Macedonians. They testified about two occasions on which the police assaulted them and that the police came looking for them at their home in 2006 and were still looking in 2007. They submitted reports detailing Bulgaria’s poor treatment of Macedonians. An immigration judge denied relief, finding that they had missed the one-year deadline for filing an asylum application, 8 U.S.C. 1158(a)(2)(B), and that their tardiness was not excused by changed circumstances in Bulgaria or extraordinary circumstances. The judge denied their request for withholding and Convention Against Torture protection on the merits, finding that their experiences did not meet the test for past persecution, nor did they support a finding of likely persecution in the future. The BIA affirmed. Represented by new counsel, they moved to reopen the proceedings based on their first lawyer’s ineffectiveness. The Board found the motion untimely and rejected the argument that counsel’s ineffectiveness excused the delay. The Seventh Circuit rejected petitions for review, noting the Yusevs’ lack of diligence.