New opinion—assisting police against Salvadoran gangs can establish asylum eligibility

Guzman v. AG—immigration—reversal—Roth

“After overhearing the murder of his two next-door neighbors and facing repeated threats from local gang members for his perceived role in assisting law enforcement, petitioner Brayan Antonio Guzman Orellana left his home in El Salvador and entered the United States seeking relief,” begins today’s Third Circuit opinion. The court vacated the ruling of the Board of Immigration Appeals against Guzman on his asylum claim, holding that (1) persons who publicly provide assistance against major Salvadoran gangs qualify as a particular social group (and thus are eligible for asylum and withholding of removal), (2) Guzman failed to prove persecution on account of political opinion, and (3) the BIA erred in concluding that Guzman was unlikely to face torture upon removal.

Joining Roth were Restrepo and Fisher. Arguing counsel were Brian Maida of Cravath Swaine for the petitioner and Greg Mack for the government.