The Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion on August 9 of this year which is worthy of note. It was an appeal from the Board of Immigration Appeals (Straus, IJ A038 575 464). The petitioner in this case was Gavin Tariano Walker, a Jamaican citizen residing in the state of Connecticut. It is unclear how long Walker had been living in the US, but clearly long enough to rack up a couple of state law convictions (aggravated felony and controlled substance offense). Hence, an Immigration Judge determined to remove him from the US. He appealed, indicating that the Immigration Judge, reviewing the BIA, should have deferred his removal from the US based on the Convention Against Torture.
Walker’s problem, you see, is that he contends that he is a “widely known homosexual in Jamaica.”
In order to relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT), one has to demonstrate that it is more likely than not that he would be tortured if removed to t he proposed country of removal, and government officials in that country would inflict such torture. It is true that in Jamaica acts of gross indecency between persons of the same sex are criminalized. The Human Rights report for Jamaica indicates that LGBT individuals suffer “serious human rights abuses, including assaults with deadly weapons, ‘corrective rape’ of women accused of being lesbians, arbitrary detention, mob attacks, stabbings, harassment by hospital and prison staff, and targeted shootings.”
Pointing out that it was unlikely that the Immigration Judge had appropriately applied the applicable standards outlining CAT’s intent by conflating or diminishing the nature of government acquiescence, the Second Circuit remanded the matter to the Immigration Judge for further study.
What would Donald Trump make of that? What do you make of that? Is he a felon to deport or a life to be saved? And if he is a life to be saved, what is the likelihood that he will commit another aggravated felony? Geez…….these are tough questions.