Yahya v. Sessions, No. 17-1416 (7th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Yahya entered the U.S. on a six-month tourist visa in either 2000 or 2001 and overstayed. According to Yahya, in 2003, he voluntarily appeared to register in the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System and was placed in removal proceeding (8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(1)(B)). He accepted an order of voluntary departure but did not depart. He claims he did not want to put his eight-month-old, American-born son on a 24-hour flight to Indonesia. More than 12 years later, Yahya moved to reopen his removal proceedings. Because the 90-day deadline had passed, he cited an exception, raising a claim for asylum “based on changed country conditions arising in the country of nationality,” 8 U.S.C. 1229a(c)(7)(C)(i), (ii), claiming that he feared that his “moderate” Islamic faith would make him a target for “radical fundamentalist Islamic groups” in Indonesia. The BIA upheld the IJ’s denial of the motion. The Seventh Circuit denied a petition for review. The BIA properly compared objective evidence of religious violence in Indonesia from 2003, the time of Yahya’s original proceedings, to the evidence he presented now. He has evidence of only one attack against moderate Muslims between 2003 and 2016, which is not sufficient to show a material change in country conditions.