Petition for Review from the Board of Immigration Appeals.
No. A 096 419 405.
P. Mann, Maris J. Liss, GEORGE P. MANN AND ASSOCIATES,
Farmington Hills, Michigan, for Petitioner.
F. Stanton, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Washington,
D.C., for Respondent.
Before: MERRITT, MOORE, and ROGERS, Circuit Judges
MERRITT, CIRCUIT JUDGE
Olga Jad Kamar filed an application for withholding of
removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act and
protection under the Convention Against Torture. The
Immigration Judge denied the application and ordered her
removed from the United States to Jordan, or in the
alternative, to Lebanon. The Board of Immigration Appeals
dismissed her appeal and denied her motion to remand based on
changed country conditions. This petition for review
issue is whether a woman who will either be subject to an
"honor killing, " or alternatively,
"protective custody" in Jordan is entitled to
relief. For the reasons set forth below, we
GRANT the petition for review and
REMAND the case to the Board for further
proceedings consistent with this opinion.
is a native of Lebanon and a citizen of Jordan. She was born
in Lebanon in 1964, but moved to Jordan as a young child.
Kamar and her family are Catholic, but adhere to Islamic
cultural practices and societal traditions. Kamar's
mother and sister are United States citizens. Her mother
lives in Jordan and her sister lives in New Orleans.
Kamar's other siblings and cousins live in Jordan.
was admitted to the United States as a B-2 visitor in June
1999. She changed her status to an F-1 student in January
2001 to pursue a master's degree. Kamar's F-1 status
was terminated when she became pregnant and left school.
Kamar has three sons with her husband from her first
marriage, which ended in divorce in 2006. Their three sons
live in Canada with their father. In 2007, Kamar became
pregnant again. She married her second husband two months
before her child was born. The child is a United States
citizen and is now ten years old. Kamar has no relationship
with her second husband and has an order of protection
October 12, 2007, the Department of Homeland Security charged
Kamar as removable pursuant to 8 U.S.C. §
1227(a)(1)(C)(1) because she failed to comply with the
conditions of her F-1 student status. Kamar conceded
removability. She filed an application for withholding of
removal pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act
("Act"), protection under the Convention Against
Torture ("Convention"), and voluntary departure in
the alternative. In her application, Kamar alleged that if
she returned to Jordan, under Islamic tradition, she would be
subject to an honor killing by her youngest male relative for
bringing shame to her family by getting pregnant out of
was a merits hearing on Kamar's application on June 8,
2009. At the hearing, Kamar testified that her family did not
approve of her divorcing her first husband and conceiving her
fourth son while unmarried. She explained that the fact that
she married her second husband before giving birth was
irrelevant because she got pregnant before marriage.
Her brothers have not spoken to her since this occurred.
testified that she fears returning to Jordan because her
cousins intend to perform an honor killing on her and her
child in accordance with Jordanian custom. She explained that
even though her family is Catholic, they live in Jordan where
the majority of people are Muslim and the law is according to
Islamic law. Her family follows the local traditions. In
Jordanian society, if a woman shames her family, the solution
is to cleanse the family and restore its honor by killing
Kamar has not had physical contact with her cousins, she
testified that she received letters claiming that her cousins
want to kill her and that she was told this by numerous
relatives and friends. In support, she submitted a letter
from her mother dated September 5, 2009, saying that
Kamar's first cousin, Alias, is the cousin that is the
angriest with her. It stated, "[Alias] told your sisters
that he wished God took his life if he did not finish this
work. Even if this was the last thing that he would do on
this earth, he will kill you for your sisters." The
other letter Kamar presented was from Alias. It said,
"You understand what the punishment is for a girl like
you, who brings shame upon our family. Your day of punishment
is coming and with God's blessing it will be very
testified that if she attempted to seek help from the
Jordanian government, it would place her in prison and place
her son in an orphanage for protection. She said she could
not relocate in Jordan, because it is a small country where
everyone knows each other. Also, she is well known in the
country because she used to be a teacher there and had a
business. Kamar testified that she could not alternatively
move to Lebanon because she does not have a visa to be
admitted into any other country. Additionally, she stated
that she has not been to Lebanon since she was one year old
and was not allowed to visit when she once attempted.
Kamar's sister who is also divorced, testified that their
family did not like the fact that she was divorced either,
but had come to accept it. However, she said that because
Kamar became pregnant outside of marriage, their cousins
would kill her to restore their family's honor. She
explained that it did not matter that Kamar subsequently
married her second husband because Alias believes that Kamar
cheated on her first husband with her second husband. This is
due to a rumor spread by Kamar's first husband's
family that reached Jordan. Mona asserted that if Kamar
returned to Jordan, their cousins would find out and be
waiting for her at the airport.
The First Decision and Appeal
September 30, 2009, the Immigration Judge ("IJ")
determined that Kamar was not credible and denied her
application. Kamar appealed to the Board of Immigration
Appeals ("Board"). The Board overturned the
IJ's decision on August 3, 2012, finding that the overall
adverse credibility finding was clearly erroneous. It
remanded the case to allow the IJ to reconsider Kamar's
applications and ordered further fact-finding since the
IJ's previous analysis did not treat Kamar's
testimony as credible.
The Second ...