PHILADELPHIA (CN) – The Board of Immigration Appeals must hear the case of an Albanian whose life was threatened by the man who smuggled him into the United States, the 3rd Circuit ruled.
Nazmi Rranci illegally entered the country and was detained. He became a witness against Rustem Muho, a smuggler of illegal immigrants.
After Rranci’s testimony helped to convict Muho, the Immigration and Naturalization Service turned its attention back to Rranci. He applied for asylum, claiming that Muho’s henchmen were asking about him in Albania.
“Muho’s brother stated that … whenever I returned to Albania,” Rranci stated, “(Muho) and his friends would kill me.”
Judge Ambro said the government assumes a responsibility to protect someone from injuries from a third party when the government places that person in harm’s way.
The fact that Rranci’s counsel did not know this constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel, so Ambro remanded the case to the Board of Immigration Appeals.