Argued: September 12, 2017
Petition for Review of an Order of the Board of Immigration
Benjamin Winograd, IMMIGRANT & REFUGEE APPELLATE CENTER,
LLC, Alexandria, Virginia, for Petitioner.
Rebecca Hoffberg Phillips, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE, Washington, D.C., for Respondent.
Jacobsen, L&L IMMIGRATION LAW, PLLC, Alexandria,
Virginia, for Petitioner.
A. Readler, Acting Assistant Attorney General, John S. Hogan,
Assistant Director, Office of Immigration Litigation, Civil
Division, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington,
D.C., for Respondent.
KEENAN and WYNN, Circuit Judges, and John A. GIBNEY, Jr.,
United States District Judge for the Eastern District of
Virginia, sitting by designation.
GIBNEY, DISTRICT JUDGE.
Romero Zambrano appeals the decision of the Board of
Immigration Appeals (the "BIA") to affirm an
Immigration Judge's ("IJ") decision to deny his
application for asylum. Romero Zambrano claims that the BIA
applied the wrong legal standard in assessing his asylum
eligibility and the wrong standard of review when evaluating
the IJ's decision. As explained below, we agree that the
BIA applied the wrong legal standard for assessing asylum
eligibility and therefore grant the petition for review and
remand to the BIA for further proceedings.
Zambrano, a native citizen of Honduras, joined the Honduran
military after high school and helped local police arrest
gang members. After Romero Zambrano left the army, members of
the "Barrio Pobres" from the 18th Street
gang tried to track him down to get their revenge. Romero
Zambrano moved frequently to avoid detection and tried
unsuccessfully to enter the United States five times. He
finally managed to enter the United States in August 2011.
gang's search for him continued. In 2012, armed men broke
into the apartments of Romero Zambrano's sister and
former girlfriend in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, asking about
his location. Gang members continued ...