In a landmark case before U.S. Court of Appeals, New York, immigration law firm secures new opportunity at asylum for Chinese political activist seeking to avoid return to China
New York (Lexis Nexis) December 18, 2009 — In a landmark case involving important legal issues that could affect political asylum cases nationwide, a legal team from the New York immigration law firm Bretz & Coven prevailed recently in a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
The case, Shi Jie Ge v. Holder, — F.3d —-, 2009 WL 4281472 (2d Cir. 2009), involved a Chinese asylum applicant who claimed future persecution based on his political activities in the United States as a member of the China Democratic Party (CDP). The CDP, which has members worldwide and advocates for democracy, has been critical of human rights abuse by the Chinese government through various political activities.
The asylum applicant, Mr. Shi Jie Ge, had been told by the Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals that the mere possibility that Chinese authorities would learn of his work for an outlawed political party if he were forced to return to China was not enough to grant him relief. But earlier this month, the Second Circuit held that the Immigration Judge and the Board of Immigration Appeals applied the wrong standard and ordered the Board to remand the case to the Immigration Judge and allow Mr. Ge to submit any additional evidence on the possibility of the Chinese government’s discovery of his political activity upon return to China and reconsider whether Mr. Ge has made a substantial showing of a well-founded fear of future persecution.
“This is a landmark asylum case because it clarified important legal issues such as statutory definition of exception to the one-year filing deadline for asylum and the meaning of future persecution, that could affect asylum cases nationwide,” said David K.S. Kim, a senior associate at Bretz & Coven, a leading immigration law firm that handles a wide range of cases, who litigated the case on behalf of Bretz & Coven. “We are gratified by the Second Circuit’s decision and look forward to pursuing this matter with the Immigration Judge upon remand by the Board so that Mr. Ge can submit additional evidence in his request for asylum and have his case reconsidered.”
Bretz & Coven is a full-service immigration law firm based in New York City. The firm’s attorneys serve immigrants who seek the privileges and benefits of U.S. visitation and lawful permanent residence, and also defends immigrants in removal and deportation proceedings. The firm has a long and well documented history of making difficult challenges on behalf of immigrants in federal courts and changing, often for the better, the way immigration law is interpreted. “Individuals, families, and corporations turn to us when no one else will take the case,” said Kerry William Bretz, a partner at Bretz & Coven. “Our staff speaks over 20 languages and our attorneys are admitted to practice law in New York State, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, the federal district courts of those states, as well as many U.S. Courts of Appeals throughout the country, and the U.S. Supreme Court.”